Costa, Garamendi, Harder lead letter to preserve the Valley’s water supply

Oct 14, 2021
Press Release

(WASHINGTON D.C.) – Representatives Jim Costa (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-03), and Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter to state and federal agencies expressing concerns about new filings in the State of California’s lawsuit challenging the management of the federal Central Valley Project and protections for endangered fish species.  

In the letter the members wrote: 

"We understand the new filings include an unprecedented operations plan for the coming water year, submitted by the State with the federal Bureau of Reclamation. Amid ongoing extreme drought conditions facing California and across the West, a court-ordered water management plan for a single water year, which has not been subject to adequate scientific or public review, is the worst possible outcome.  

"The recently concluded water year was the worst drought year since 1976-1977. Lack of water has brought hardship and lost jobs to farms, farmworkers, and communities in the Central Valley. We must do all we can to provide reliable water supply to our communities, safeguard our environment, and to ensure that we grow the food needed to feed our nation. The drought has had equally devastating impacts on protected fisheries in the Central Valley, which the interim water operations plan would not fix but, instead, undercut any continued voluntary habitat restoration efforts for protected species.  

"When the State of California and federal government began developing different water project operation requirements, we warned in April 2020 that protracted litigation was likely to occur that would have dire impacts for California. We fear that is now becoming reality." 

The full text of the letter can be found here