Inflation Reduction Act funds for drought reduction remain crucial, U.S. Congressman Mike Levin tells H2OMICS podcast
May 11, 2023
Forecast for further extreme weather conditions underscores the need for the modernization of California’s aging water infrastructure, Levin says
CARLSBAD, California – U.S. Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) has emphasized the critical importance of the $4 billion set aside for drought reduction action as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, despite the rain and snowfall in the early months of 2023.
“Even though we had something like 31 atmospheric river events in recent months, which was really extraordinary, we’re not out of the woods with regard to drought,” Congressman Levin said. “It’s very clear that the $4 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation for drought relief is absolutely essential. We have to do everything we can to make sure that those IRA funds get to the communities where they are needed, including here in our region.”
Congressman Levin’s comments came during an interview on the latest episode of the H2OMICS podcast from smart irrigation leader Calsense. His conversation with podcast host Carolina Alban-Stoughton focused on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – which includes $55 billion for the expansion of access to clean drinking water, and funds for investments to tackle the climate crisis – as well as the IRA, which aims to address current environmental challenges by allocating $369 billion to energy security, climate solutions and environmental justice.
Levin has served as the U.S. representative for California’s 49th congressional district since 2019. He said that accepted climate science points towards an increase in extreme weather conditions, which only underlines the need for repairs and upgrades to California’s aging water infrastructure.
He pointed to projects such as Pure Water Oceanside and the North San Diego Water Reuse Coalition’s Regional Recycled Water Project as examples of how California can develop a more resilient water supply.
“Another great project was in Encinitas at the Olivenhain Water District, where they had a ribbon cutting of a 1.4 mile pipeline for recycled water,” Levin said. “They were able to get about $17 or $18 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. One of the exciting things about the bipartisan infrastructure law is it has a $1 billion recycled water investment, which is tenfold the biggest investment that the federal government has ever given with regard to recycled water.”
Asked if he could see a future where the federal government could fund the installation of innovative water efficiency technologies in the communities that need them the most, Congressman Levin said this type of investment is already starting to happen. But he said it needs to be part of a non-partisan environmental future.
“Only in very recent years have water, energy, environmental issues become so partisan or so polarized,” he told Alban-Stoughton. “I’d like to think we can find common ground and we can focus on building a clean energy future that we need and not just double down on the dirty energy policies of the past.”
Listen to the full interview on the H2Omics podcast. Each episode features an interview with an expert in the fields of irrigation and water conservation or sustainability, highlighting vital topics which might otherwise not be on the radar of listeners.
To listen to the H2OMICS podcast, visit calsense.com/podcast or search for H2OMICS on your favorite podcast platform.
Calsense is an innovator in the field of smart irrigation; it was established in Carlsbad, California, in response to drought conditions decades ago. The company’s vision is to contribute to a sustainable future by saving the world’s most precious resource: water. It creates sophisticated smart irrigation solutions built on a foundation of technology, education, and partnership, and its Calsense Innovation Council helps to drive customer-centric product development. In 2023 Calsense received an Irrigation Association new product award for its groundbreaking Irrigation Management as a Service™ (IMaaS™) subscription-style deployment offering.
Calsense is a partner with the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® program in promoting water efficient products and services. For 35 years, the company has contributed to providing a sustainable future by developing water resource management tools and strategies, directly incorporating input from its customers. Calsense helps its customers conserve water, manage labor, and ultimately save money through smart irrigation. The company’s industry-leading technology and support bridge the gap between irrigation designer, installer, landscape maintainer and water manager to provide the support needed at each phase of a project. Customers partner with Calsense for a reliable system that provides long-term value. For more information, visit www.calsense.com.
WaterSense is a registered trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.