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
In a May 10 column on Temperance Flat Reservoir, Bee columnist Marek Warszawski called out local lawmakers who supported the project and said we were in a “state of denial.”
Let me be clear: I am not in denial.
California’s water issues are complex and not easy to solve.
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a significant piece of water infrastructure legislation – H.R. 8, the Water Resources Development Act – by a vote of 408 to 2. Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) worked on a bipartisan basis to improve the legislation by including one provision that would increase water supply reliability in California’s San Joaquin Valley and another provision that could reduce permit compliance costs for utility ratepayers.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) again crossed party lines in the House Natural Resources Committee to support two bills that could dramatically improve the reliability and quantity of Valley water supplies.
Washington, D.C. – In their ongoing work to improve access to safe and reliable water, Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Jeff Denham (R-CA-10), John Garamendi (D-CA-3), and Tom McClintock (R-CA-4) introduced H.R 5726, the Non-Federal Reservoir Operations Improvement Act, in the House of Representatives today. If enacted, the bipartisan legislation would resolve a technicality that impedes structural and operational improvements of water reservoirs and prevents reservoirs from functioning as efficiently as possible.
Washington, D.C. – The collaboration between Ducks Unlimited, Grassland Water District, the State of California’s Wildlife Conservation Board and Department of Water Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and local private land owners to conserve wetlands within the northern San Joaquin Valley was awarded a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant this week.
Fresno, CA – Today, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the Bureau of Reclamation announced an increase in water allocation for Central Valley Project water contractors:
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16), a senior member on the House Natural Resources Committee, urged U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to increase pumping during the storms falling in the San Joaquin Valley and across Central and Northern California, consistent with provisions Costa secured in the Water Infrastructure for Improvements to the Nation (WIIN) Act in 2016.
Washington, DC — In his ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure in the San Joaquin Valley, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) joined his colleagues in the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus this week in releasing their report with policy recommendations for improving and investing in America’s infrastructure. Rep. Costa has a long history of working on repairing and building new infrastructure in the Valley.