June 25, 2015

Western Water Bill Introduced In U.S. House Today

Today, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 was introduced by Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) and who said it would modernize water policies in California and throughout the entire Western United States. He writes on his website that the bill aims to make more water available to families, farmers and communities in California and bordering Western states and require federal agencies to use current and reliable data when making regulatory decisions.  He also wrote that the dedication of vast quantities of water to protect certain species of fish listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is a significant obstacle hindering water delivery in Central and Southern California.

A summary of the bill can be VIEWED HERE.

In support of the legislation, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif released the following statement to the press about H.R. 2898:

“The House water supply legislation offered today appropriately focuses on using the infrastructure we have now in a more balanced way to protect California’s economy and endangered species, and places needed emphasis on creating new water infrastructure to prepare our state for a changing climate. The legislation offers similar common sense measures for drought-stricken states throughout the West. We applaud House Members who have drafted the bill and we encourage other members of the House to engage on this legislation and push forward a Western drought relief bill as swiftly as possible.

Obviously, legislation needs to advance in the Senate as well and we strongly encourage Senators from drought-impacted Western states to likewise take up and move drought legislation.

For too many years, predating the current drought, we have pleaded for Congress to enact bipartisan solutions that will restore reasonable surface water supplies to farms and communities in Central and Southern California, and to bring needed storage projects throughout the West closer to reality. Our members cannot withstand more partisan fighting that results in nothing being done. We hope today marks a truly new beginning.”

Original cosponsors of Congressman Valadao’ s legislation include Reps. Ken Calvert (CA-42), Paul Cook (CA-08), Jim Costa (CA-16), Jeff Denham (CA-10), Duncan Hunter (CA-50), Darrell E. Issa (CA-49), Stephen Knight (CA-25), Dough LaMalfa (CA-01), Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Devin Nunes (CA-22), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), Edward R. Royce (CA-39), Mimi Walters (CA-45), Mark E. Amodei (NV-02), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), Cresent Hardy (NV-04), David P. Joyce (OH-14), Cynthia M. Lummis (WY-AL), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Michael K. Simpson (ID-02), Chris Stewart (UT-02), Scott Tipton (CO-03), and Ryan K. Zinke (MT-AL).

For more information, please contact WG’s Dennis Nuxoll at (202) 296-0191.