In response to today’s introduction of the California Long-Term Provisions for Water Supply and Short-Term Provisions for Emergency Drought Relief Act, several public water agencies from the Central Valley issued the following statement:
“In the last three years, several bills related to operations of the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project have been introduced and passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Despite the best efforts by some in Congress, none of the legislation has been enacted, and the people of California who rely on the state’s two major water projects continue to suffer unnecessarily from chronic water supply shortages.
Provisions of the California Long-Term Provisions for Water Supply and Short-Term Provisions for Emergency Drought Relief Act introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein have merit, and its introduction is a positive step in the effort to find reasonable solutions to California’s short-term and long-term water issues. The legislation advances efforts to provide common sense Congressional direction on the application of the Endangered Species Act to the operations of the CVP and SWP and a roadmap for development of new water supplies to meet the water supply needs in California and other regions of the west.
Passage by the Senate of this legislation will be an important step toward development and enactment of final compromise legislation to address this critical issue, and we support Senator Feinstein’s efforts to obtain quick Senate approval.
Winter storms are beginning to fill northern reservoirs and produce runoff that must be captured, if we are to end California’s historic drought for the 25 million people dependent upon pumping in the Delta. Unfortunately, without meaningful legislation enacted into law, the people of California are likely to endure an uncertain winter season of floods, property damage, and storm water flowing out to the ocean, followed by a summer of drought–a scenario both frustrating and unacceptable. The time to act is now.”