Directors of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) in May expressed formal support for a federal bill that would streamline the approval process for reservoirs and surface-storage water projects.

H.R. 1654, the Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act, by California Republican Tom McClintock would require agencies to finish necessary environmental reviews of proposed dams within one year. The bill does not eliminate any environmental requirements, only ensures that the state and federal reviews are completed in a timely manner.

According to the author, H.R. 1654, “… will establish a framework in which federal agencies with permitting responsibilities for the construction of new surface water storage projects must work together, coordinate their schedules, share data and technical materials, and make their findings publicly available. The end result would be fewer delays, more efficient use of taxpayer dollars, and ultimately, more abundant water supplies.”

MWDOC’s Public Affairs and Legislation Committee meets the third Monday of each month, and recommends whether to support, oppose or watch legislation that could impact water supply and reliability. The full board considers those recommendations when it meets on the third Wednesday of each month.