Costa Finds Zero Percent Allocation Inexcusable
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Jim Costa issued the following statement after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that agricultural service contractors in the San Joaquin Valley served through the Central Valley Project (CVP), such as San Luis Delta Mendota Water Authority and Friant Water Authority, will receive zero percent of their contracted federal water for the second consecutive year.
“Today’s announcement by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, while not unexpected, is another devastating blow to the farmers, the farmworkers and the communities of the San Joaquin Valley. In a year where rainfall in Northern California is normal for this time of year and storage in Shasta Reservoir is also near its historical average for this time of year, for Central Valley Project agriculture, for a second year in a row, to receive none of its contracted water is simply inexcusable. Today’s initial allocation only provides further evidence of how broken California’s water delivery system is for those who live and work south of the Delta and points to the need for Congress to intervene to provide direction to better balance the impacts of regulations. This four year drought and the inability to maximize the capture of the water in the system when it has been available have drastically stunted the Valley’s agriculture industry, and it seems this year will be no different. What has been devastating to this point will now become catastrophic.
“At a time when every drop of water counts, to forgo opportunities that would optimize our scare water resources and bring some relief to the families of the Valley simply cannot be justified. As recently as last week, staff of the State Water Resources Control Board moved forward with its decision to modify the Temporary Urgency Change Petition and prohibit more balanced distribution of increased flows through the Delta, denying our Valley access to desperately needed water.
“Our current water system is broken and will only be fixed when the parties involved come together and use all of the tools in our water tool box. Up to this point, our federal and state entities have come up short and it is the people of the San Joaquin Valley who will suffer.”