Assembly's Salas helps to secure funding to improve water infrastructure

By The Leader Staff
Assemblymember Rudy Salas
Assemblymember Rudy Salas

Valley Assemblyman Rudy Salas has secured $4 million in the state’s budget for the Friant-Kern Canal Pump-Back Facility Project, which in addition to $3 million in federal funds, will finance a water conveyance project that will improve the state’s water infrastructure to deliver water throughout the system.

“Completion of this project will bring stability and flexibility to California’s water system at a critical time when our local municipalities and farmers are striving to meet the state’s groundwater management goals,” said Assemblyman Salas.  “The upgraded facility will further reduce water conveyance losses and improve the flexibility of operations within the Friant Division.”

This funding will be used to install permanent pump-back facilities with higher capacities along the southern segment of the Friant-Kern Canal bringing more water to the Central Valley.  Currently, the Friant-Kern Canal has limited pump-back operational capacity, which is used occasionally to deliver water north from the Cross Valley Canal or water extracted from water banks on the Kern River. 

“Thanks to Assemblyman Salas’ leadership, this money, along with the $3 million in federal funds, will help ensure a stable water-supply for the southern region of the San Joaquin Valley”, said Dan Vink, executive director of the South Valley Water Association.  “This was a good outcome that took a lot of teamwork.”

The funding included in this year’s budget is the culmination of a multi-year effort by Assemblyman Salas and the South Valley Water Association to secure funding for conveyance projects in the Central Valley. 

The South Valley Water Association consists of eight irrigation districts: Delano-Earlimart, Exeter, Ivanhoe, Lower Tule River, Pixley, Shafter-Wasco, Stone Corral and Tea Pot Dome. Collectively they provide water for more than 300,000 acres of irrigable farmland.  Each irrigation district is a Friant Contractor.


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