3.30.11 Costa Introduces More Water for Our Valley Act

Costa: It’s time to put aside political differences, end regulatory drought

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today introduced H.R. 1251, the More Water for Our Valley Act, continuing his efforts to find commonsense solutions to California’s broken water system. The attached legislation would ease restrictions on pumping that have limited the flow of water to the San Joaquin Valley, ensuring more water for Valley farmers and reasonable protection for endangered species.

Costa spoke on the House floor in support of this needed legislation. Video of the speech can be found here and text of the bill can be found here.

“Madam Speaker, California’s Governor will soon declare an end to a drought that has devastated the San Joaquin Valley. Our cities are flooding, our rivers are raging, and snowpack in the Sierras is deeper than any of the past 15 years.

“It is clear that the drought is over. Somehow, Washington hasn’t gotten the news.

“With unemployment still in double digits in seven counties in the Valley, some folks here in Washington think our communities can recover from the Great Recession with just over half the water our farmers need. They don’t understand the Valley. They don’t understand us.

“Water is lifeblood of the Valley. It puts food on our tables, sustains our economy, and creates good jobs.

“That’s why today I’m introducing legislation that would allow needed flexibility for California’s water policy. As we work to find short and long term solutions to California’s broken water system, passing this commonsense legislation will bring over 500,000 acre feet of water to Valley farmers and farm communities.

“It’s time to put aside our political differences, it’s time to reach a compromise, and it’s time to end this regulatory drought.”