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December 7, 2016

WG Supports California Drought Language in Water Bill

Drought legislation based on a bipartisan agreement between Senator Feinstein and House Majority Leader McCarthy has been included in the FY17 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The WRDA is currently on the floor of the House of Representatives and set for a vote as early as tomorrow (December 7), with the Senate potentially poised to pick it up on Thursday (December 8).

We encourage all Western Growers members to contact their congressional representative(s) – in all areas of operations – today or tomorrow morning to encourage support for passage of the WRDA bill.

The drought language is the product of three years of negotiations and includes, among other things, the following provisions:

  • $558 million in long-term funding authorizations to help California develop new water infrastructure, such as storage, desalination and recycling projects
  • Short-term improvements to the operations of the Delta pumping plants, ensuring the system is operated more efficiency using science, not intuition
  • Language is consistent with environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act and biological opinions

In support of this bipartisan California water deal, Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif sent out a statement yesterday noting that “we are pleased that leaders in the House and Senate appear ready to finally move us all forward with the introduction of negotiated drought language in the WRDA legislation…The timing of this agreement is critical. With several early storms already behind us, California is entering its rainy season and we cannot once again allow flawed policies to prevent reasonable diversion of runoff to storage.”

Read Western Growers’ full press statement on the water deal here. For questions, contact Cory Lunde at (949) 885-2264.