Spring is coming early in 3/4 of national parks, according to a new study. Awesome? Not so much. As flowers bloom earlier every year, it’s disrupting the link between the wildflowers and the arrival of birds, bees, and butterflies that feed on and pollinate the flowers. In Shenandoah, an earlier spring is giving invasive plants a head start, and they’re displacing native wildflowers, leading to costly management issues.
Before the 1960s almost everything about living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person was illegal. New York City laws against homosexual activities were particularly harsh. The Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 is a milestone in the quest for LGBT civil rights and provided momentum for a movement.
Vine Creek Ranch at Death Valley National Park. Steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.
Located 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, the National Park of American Samoa is the most remote unit of the National Park System and the U.S. National Park south of the Equator. The Park spreads across three islands, 9,500 acres of tropical rainforest, and 4,000 acres of ocean, including coral reefs. While remote, the islands of American Samoa, true to the meaning of the word Samoa (Islands of Sacred Earth), are welcoming and offer beautiful landscapes and centuries of culture and history.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am Robert W. Johnson, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. I am pleased to be here today to present the Department's views regarding H.R. 1803, the San Diego Water Storage and Efficiency Act of 2007. The Department supports the goals of this bill, and would support the bill if amended as described in this statement.
H.R. 1803 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a feasibility study to design and construct a four reservoir intertie system for the purposes of improving the water storage opportunities, water supply reliability, and water yield in San Diego County, California. In cooperation and consultation with the City of San Diego and the Sweetwater Authority, the investigation would determine whether a system of pumps and pipelines interconnecting four non-Federal reservoirs (San Vicente Reservoir, El Capitan Reservoir, Loveland Reservoir, and Lake Murray) would improve water management opportunities. The legislation authorizes an appropriation of $3 million for the investigation.
The Bureau of Reclamation recommends that this bill be amended to provide that before undertaking a full feasibility study, Reclamation should first carry out an appraisal investigation to determine the prudence of a feasibility study for the proposed intertie system. Only if the appraisal investigation recommends that the proposed intertie system be studied further should the Secretary undertake a study, as authorized in this bill, to determine the feasibility of the intertie system.
As part of the feasibility authorization in this bill, the Federal cost share will not exceed 50 percent of the total study costs. The proposed legislation only authorizes a feasibility investigation. The outcome of the feasibility investigation would be an important factor in whether the Secretary would recommend that Congress enact further authorization for construction of the proposed reservoir and intertie project.
The Department is aware of local efforts to study various ways to increase local water supplies and reliability in southern California. As Watermaster of the Colorado River, the Department would benefit from improved efficiency of use of imported water in California. An intertie system such as the project proposed might allow San Diego County, located at the end of the Colorado River, and State Water Project distribution systems, the ability to better manage their imported supplies, improve reliability and move water more effectively within several reservoirs to receive the benefits of available storage. This project, if found to be feasible, could be a valuable tool under the California 4.4 Plan to improve and better utilize imported water from the Colorado River.
The Bureau of Reclamation is currently working with the City of San Diego and the Sweetwater Authority on other unrelated water recycling projects that help with the future needs for water of the region.
The Department supports the goal of this legislation to authorize a new feasibility investigation, and requests that the legislation be amended so that the feasibility investigation will only go forward if, on the basis of an appraisal investigation, Reclamation determines that the proposed intertie system should be studied further.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. Thank you for the opportunity to comment on H.R. 1803. I would be happy to answer any questions at this time.