SEP 20 '96 05:17PM SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN P.4/4
WASHINGTON, DC 20510-0504
September 20, 1996
The Honorable Thomas A. Daschle
United States Senate
SH 509 .
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator D I: -
I am citing to ask your assistance in helping pass a measure before the end of the Session which
would authorize Congress to appropriate up to $143 million per year for FY 98, 99, and 2000, as
the federal share for restoring the Bay-Delta estuary in California. As you are probably aware,
the federal government operates the Central Valley Project (CVP) in California, the largest water
project in the State. While it has brought untold agricultural benefits, it also caused environ-
mental damage to the Bay-Delta estuary, from which water is drawn for export to the central and
southern portions ofthe State.
This November, Proposition 204 is on the California ballot, which would authorize issuance of
almost $1 billion in bonds to implement long term solutions to the problems facing the estuary.
This ballot measure was developed as part of what has become known as the CAL-FED process,
Sa unique partnership between the state and federal governments, supported by urban, environ-
mental, and agricultural interests, that was created to bring the Bay-Delta estuary into compli-
ance with the Clean Water Act, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, and the Endangered
Species Act. The legislation I am asking you to support would authorize the federal share for
projects in Proposition 204, and would only go into effect if that proposition is passed.
Passage of this legislation and of Proposition 204 provide an unprecedented opportunity for a
long term, consensus-based resolution to the myriad issues over the allocation of water that have
been a bone of contention in California throughout this century. Restoring the health of the Bay-
Delta estuary not only will provide California with the stable water supply it needs to sustain its
economy. It also offers benefits to the entire West, because it will restore anadromous fish
populations that are in jeopardy not only in this estuary, but also in the Columbia-Snake River
Basin and in the Colorado River Basin.
I look forward to working with you in passing this bill, possibly as part of the Continuing
Resolution. Thank you for your consideration of my request.