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Denham Proposes Big Changes For New Melones

Sonora, CA — Congressman Jeff Denham would like regional water districts to take ownership of New Melones Reservoir.

Denham introduced House Bill 2085 yesterday, which calls for the Secretary of Interior to enter into negotiations with regional water and power providers to transfer ownership of the reservoir from the federal government.

“Our local irrigation and power districts are more than qualified to manage our water resources in a way that protects agriculture, families and the environment,” said Denham. “The bill I introduced would empower local public agencies to better serve the needs of their Central Valley customers and allocate water appropriately, especially in drought-stricken months.”

Denham has been a vocal opponent of the recent fish flow releases out of New Melones, and feels that local water districts would be better at managing the dam.

Denham also introduced a second related bill, which calls for a pilot program to be implemented on the Stanislaus River, looking at ways to protect native fish, differently than the status quo.

Denham’s district is in the Central Valley, but he previously represented the Mother Lode region prior to redistricting.