Fighting for Water

The San Joaquin Valley needs water to survive. Our Valley’s jobs and way of life are at stake, and it is my top priority to ensure that our farmers, workers, and communities receive the water we need to get our economy going again.

We are making progress, and each day is a new opportunity to secure more water and take on the critics of our Valley. This page will provide you with background on the water crisis, along with news and updates on my ongoing efforts to increase the flow of water to our Valley.

Producing Results

Water is the lifeblood of our Valley. Without water there are no jobs and no economic opportunity. Fighting to increase our water supply is my top priority and we are making progress.

Our Valley’s water challenges have taught us a lot about the art of the possible.  In pressing this Administration to look for other ways to operate the water projects, we were successful in boosting the water allocation to Valley farmers over the past two years and continue to push for more.  I fought hard for better science to be used so that we take a look at all the factors affecting the decline of the Delta, not just the pumps.  Our Valley has been winning that fight and now the federal agencies are going back to the drawing board.  I also worked with my colleagues in Congress to secure funding for the Valley and expedite water infrastructure projects like the California Aqueduct/Delta Mendota Canal Intertie project, which had been backlogged for more than 25 years. Last Congress, I also introduced H.R. 1251, the More Water for Our Valley Act, which continues my efforts to find commonsense solutions to California’s broken water system.

Looking at the Long-Term

There is no silver bullet that will solve all of our water problems.  Compromise involves working together in a bipartisan fashion to find common ground on solutions for the short-term, interim, and long-term, and we have to work on all of them at the same time.                                              

Valley communities require a sustainable water supply now as we work through long-term issues.  We need to build new infrastructure that includes major conveyance and storage projects such as the Peripheral Canal/Tunnel, Temperance Flat, and raising Shasta Dam.  If we expect to find compromise and stop the ages-old water wars, we need to fix our broken plumbing system, and rebuilding our infrastructure will get us to an even better place than we are today. 

Our work is far from over, but we are winning this fight and more water is flowing to the Valley.

We will continue to fight against regulations that send water to the Pacific Ocean and do not consider the health and welfare of the Valley’s residents and their environment. We will continue to press the Administration and support a legal strategy to get the pumps flowing at maximum capacity. We will also continue to take on our critics and keep working towards long-term solutions to protect our Valley and state’s water supply for generations to come.

Resources:

Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region: www.usbr.gov/mp

California Department of Water Resources: https://www.water.ca.gov/

USDA Disaster Assistance: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=diap&topic=landing

More on Fighting for Water

Oct 22, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressmen Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), Josh Harder (CA-10), and TJ Cox (CA-21) and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein released the following statement on the updated biological opinions for federally protected fish species and coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project:

Sep 16, 2019 Press Release

(FRESNO) Congressman Costa and Representatives John Garamendi, Josh Harder, and TJ Cox along with Senator Dianne Feinstein, released the joint statement today in support of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan veto SB1, legislation that would have profound impacts on the long-term availability of water in the valley: 

Sep 16, 2019 In The News

Gov. Gavin Newsom took considerable political heat over the weekend from a pair of unlikely sources — the environmental community and Democratic lawmakers.

Both were angered over his pledge Saturday to veto Senate Bill 1, a proposal that they say would have protected California’s waterways and fish against the Trump administration.

Sep 6, 2019 Press Release

(WASHINGTON) In his continuing effort to work with Federal and State legislators to solve California’s water problems, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom urging him to include two amendments to Senate Bill 1 (SB1), a key piece of legislation that would have profound impacts on the long term availability of water in the Valley.

Jun 18, 2019 Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) along with Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21), and Rep. Josh Harder (CA-10), recently signed and delivered a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and other state legislators stating their support for State Senate Bill 559 (SB-559), a critical piece of legislation that would provide funding towards improving the Friant-Kern Canal.

Jun 11, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. - In a letter to Eileen Sobeck, Executive Director of the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the EPA rejected the SWRCB’s

Mar 19, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Representatives TJ Cox and Jim Costa released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Reclamation announcement (BOR) of water allocations for the Central Valley Project (CVP). 

Feb 12, 2019 Press Release

Fresno, CA – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement regarding California Governor Gavin Newsom’s February 12th State of the State address:

“The Governor today, in his State of the State address, outlined a new direction for California. His priorities for water and transportation will provide a fresh look, and I hope new opportunities. 

“Attempting to pursue a more centrist approach to creating water sustainability in California is the key. 

Jan 30, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) was named to the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources yesterday. Rep. Costa is a senior member of the Natural Resources Committee, and this position rounds out Costa’s committee seats for the 116th Congress.