Costa Cheers Progress on Drought Response

FRESNO, CA—Rep. Jim Costa cheered the Brown Administration and California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) decision to mobilize additional drought management resources and appoint an individual tasked with monitoring ongoing drought conditions and prioritizing and coordinating the state and federal agencies responses.

Though the hardship from these conditions will be felt state-wide, the farm communities in the San Joaquin Valley will be the hardest hit by the water shortages that will jeopardize agriculture jobs throughout the region. This announcement also puts a focus on easing water transfers, which will be a key tool to quickly assist drought management that Costa has advocated for in this and previous years.

“Waiting to prepare for the challenges of 2014 is not and was never an option,” said Costa. “While we still need a formal drought declaration, the Brown Administration heard our call for swift action and is taking steps that are in the best interest of our entire state. Thisis a first, but important, step in putting the pieces together for a coordinated, comprehensive response to looming drought conditions. I know Governor Brown shares our concerns for both the short-term and long-term water challenges California is facing.”

Last week, Costa and Feinstein stressed in a letterthat low storage levels will leave the state with fewer options to adapt to next year’s dry conditions and drought declarations in previous years have helped ease the pain. In 2008 and 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger declared states of emergency and authorized additional drought relief activities. They are calling on Governor Brown to take similar action that builds on the lessons learned from those difficult years.