Subcommittee OKs Water Project Funds

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nearly $37.5 million in federal funds for Orange County water projects was included in an appropriations bill approved Monday by a key congressional subcommittee.

The Energy and Water Development appropriations subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ron Packard (R-Oceanside), approved the projects as part of an overall $21.7-billion water bill for the 2001 fiscal year. The legislation provides funding for projects around the country by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, the Department of Energy and other agencies.

"You can't put a price on clean water, flood control and critical infrastructure and repairs," Packard said.

The bill contains money for 15 Orange County projects, including flood control, beach erosion and the operation and maintenance of local waterways. The largest chunk of the money is for the ongoing Santa Ana River Mainstream Flood Control project, a multiyear effort to stem flood dangers from the Santa Ana River.

The local water projects and amounts:

* Santa Ana River Mainstream Flood Control project: $23 million

Surfside-Sunset Beach and Newport Beach shoreline: $5 million

* Santa Ana River Basin: $3 million

* Orange County Water Reclamation project: $2 million

* Special Area Management Plan: $882,000

* Newport Bay: $800,000

* Orange County Water Reliability Study: $500,000

* Aliso Creek Watershed: $500,000

* Orange County coastline study: $475,000

* Newport Bay/San Diego Creek: $381,000

* Newport Bay harbor: $350,000

* Huntington Beach bluff-top park: $211,000

* San Juan Creek watershed: $200,000

* San Gabriel to Newport Bay: $150,000

* San Juan Creek (southern): $50,000

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