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.
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.
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
Washington, DC – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017, by a vote of 230 to 190. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. David Valadao (CA-21), aims at increasing the amount, quality, and reliability of water available to communities in the Central Valley of California. A large portion of the bill focuses on modifying policies regarding the operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project and the implementation of the San Joaquin River Settlement.
Merced, CA – Rep. Jim Costa announced that $297,977 in federal funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is being awarded to the Merced Irrigation Direction (MID). The funding will go toward developing a Drought Protection Water Management Model. The model will help MID prepare for future droughts by enabling them to better predict and respond to drought conditions.
WASHINGTON, DC –Today, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, of which Rep. Costa is an original cosponsor, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 245-176. Rep. Costa’s amendment to increase accountability for environmental water flows was adopted as part of the final bill.
Washington, DC- Today, Rep. Costa offered three amendments before the Rules Committee, in a continued effort to improve H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, of which he is an original co-sponsor. The amendments offered would increase storage at Lake McClure by providing a process to raise the spillway gates of New Exchequer Dam, would utilize existing National Guard resources to assist communities impacted by the drought and would increase accountability for environmental water flows.
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Jim Costa and Rep. David Valadao introduced the Dams Accountability, Maintenance, and Safety Act.