Westlands Water District is encouraged by the introduction by Senator Dianne Feinstein of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2015.
The State is facing unprecedented drought conditions, and the water supply shortages caused by four years of extraordinary dry conditions have been exacerbated by the restrictions imposed on the operations of the federal Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project under federal law.
The introduction of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2015 is an important step in the enactment of legislation to provide much-needed relief for the public water agencies that receive water from these projects and for the people, farms, and businesses they serve. There are great similarities between this bill and H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, which passed in the House of Representatives on July 16, 2015. However, there are also great differences.
Westlands looks forward to quick passage of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2015 by the Senate and to subsequent discussions in conference to reconcile the two bills. Through its work with Senator Feinstein and Members of the House of Representatives, Westlands knows that these policymakers are genuinely interested in working together, with the District and other interested entities, to find a meaningful legislative solution to the chronic water supply shortages that have devastated the San Joaquin Valley and other regions of the State and to provide effective means of protecting at-risk species. The District looks forward to working with them to find common-sense solutions that serve the interests of all Californians.