By Miriam Raftery
October 5, 2009 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) issued a press release announcing that the House of Representatives passed a conference report on H.R. 3183, the fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. The legislation includes $120,000—funding secured by Congressman Hunter, according to the release, to perform a feasibility study of the water system in San Diego County and determine an approach to connect under-utilized reservoirs.
There’s just one problem: Hunter voted “no” on adoption of that conference report on October 1st, according to the roll call vote published in the Washington Post.
Legislation that includes funding to increase San Diego's water supply moved “one step closer to enactment today when the House of Representatives passed the conference report on H.R. 3183, the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act,” a release on Hunter’s website states. “Water availability remains an important issue for San Diego County residents," Hunter's statement continued. "With this funding, our community can continue working to build the water infrastructure it needs both today and in the future.”
Hunter’s statement further elaborated on the reasons why increasing local water availability is important: “Connecting our local reservoirs represents an important step toward maximizing existing resources to ensure sufficient collection during wet years and water availability during dry periods or emergencies. This will help with our overall goal of making San Diego County water independent."
The measure encompasses a study of four existing reservoirs: San Vicente; El Capitan; Loveland; and Murray.
H.R. 3183 is expected to receive Senate approval in the near future, at which time the legislation will be presented to the President for signature.
Asked why the Congressman issued a press release touting a conference report that he opposed, Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper offered this explanation:
"You are correct, Congressman Hunter voted against the conference report to the FY10 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. However, he did support the initial House version of the bill when it was considered in July, which included funding for the reservoir study. His opposition to the conference report was based on the fact that the legislation increased funding by more than $200 million from the initial House version and subsequent efforts to increase water availability in California were not included in the bill."
Kaser added, "The funding Congressman Hunter secured for the reservoir study will help fund in important local initiative that maintains wide support and contribute to our overall goal of making San Diego water independent."