Monday, February 17, 2020

Flake and Feinstein introduce amendment to energy bill to increase dam water storage efficiency

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
As the Senate debates the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bipartisan amendment that would allow dams to better utilize water storage capacity.

“Congress ought to be taking every action to help drought-stricken states better utilize current resources to strengthen their water management and storage capacity,” Flake said. “ Today I am happy to introduce this commonsense legislation with Sen. Feinstein to help our Western states better use existing dams to aid water conservation efforts."

The amendment would require some hydroelectric dams to revaluate their flood control policies, forgoing outdated forecasting models for modern ones and using up-to-date forecasting information. This would allow those dams to store more water, due to the reduced risk of flooding in dry years.

“In the midst of what is shaping up to be a robust El Niño, we must do all we can to capture additional water and increase our water supply,” Feinstein said. “This amendment does just that. By modernizing the Army Corps of Engineers and Reclamation storage operations at up to 15 sites, we would get much-needed additional water storage at little to no cost. And with the benefit of technological advancements in weather modeling, the agencies could do this while still protecting the surrounding communities from the risk of flooding.”

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U.S. Senator Jeff Flake

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