Last week Congressman David Valadao introduced the WATER for California Act to address how the state’s water projects are administered. The Working to Advance Tangible and Effective Reforms (WATER) for California Act is being supported by the entire California Republican delegation. Some of the provisions of the legislation include requiring management of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and California State Water Project (SWP) be consistent with the 2019 Biological Opinions.
“The WATER for California Act would benefit the cities, farms, and ecosystems throughout California that depend on the Central Valley Project and State Water Project for water supply,” Westlands Water District General Manager Tom Birmingham said in a statement. “The Act provides much needed certainty for water users, helps resolve ongoing conflict, and provides the space for the state, federal government, and interested parties to develop flow and non-flow measures that will further benefit and protect the viability of native fish species.”
Priorities laid out in the legislation include regulatory stability, infrastructure, and accountability. The bill is intended to ensure that CVP and SWP water stakeholders receive the water that they contract and pay for. Funding eligibility for the Shasta Enlargement Project would also be provided under the WATER for California Act. The legislation would also reauthorize a critical surface water storage program from the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.
“For too long, the Central Valley has suffered from devastating drought conditions, unfair water allocations, and a gross mismanagement of the water we do have by Sacramento bureaucrats and environmentalists,” said Congressman Valadao. “This bill will bring more water to the farmers, businesses, and rural communities in the Valley and throughout California, doing everything possible to survive this devastating drought. I promised my constituents that I would fight to secure a reliable and clean supply of water for our communities. This legislation would do just that by streamlining operations, expanding water storage infrastructure, and increasing accountability.”