Rep. Costa Announces Latest Water Increase For Valley
Responds to updated Salazar announcement: "We are winning our fight for water"
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today issued the following statement regarding Secretary Salazar’s announcement that the Interior Department will be increasing water allocations from the federal Central Valley Project to 30 percent for agricultural service contractors south of the Delta. Combined with the additional 8 to 10 percent of supplemental water the Department said it will obtain through various actions, today’s announcement represents a possible 40 percent water allocation for Westside Valley farmers and farm communities at normal contracted water rates.
Interior’s latest announcement is an increase from the Department’s initial announcement of 5 percent to agricultural contractors south of the Delta on February 26. After the persistent efforts of Congressmen Costa and Cardoza and Senator Feinstein, Interior updated the allocation to 25 percent on March 16.
Water district managers in the Valley have stated that our farmers need a minimum allocation of 40 percent to make it through the year. Due to drought conditions and misguided regulations based on flawed science, last year the Westside received a mere 10 percent water allocation.
Today’s increased water allocation also comes on the heels of Costa’s announcement that the Valley will receive $20.7 million in Recovery Act funds for the Intertie project that will link the Delta Mendota Canal to the California Aqueduct. The project will deliver over 30,000 acre-feet of water to San Joaquin Valley farmers who are in the most need of assistance during the water supply crisis.
Costa acknowledged the work of Secretary Salazar and his colleagues Senator Feinstein, Congressman Cardoza, and Leader Hoyer.
“I recognize the Interior Department’s efforts to increase the Valley’s water supply in these tough times,” said Costa. “The work of Senator Feinstein, Congressman Cardoza, and Leader Hoyer has been critical moving forward. I will keep holding the Administration’s feet to the fire. The Administration must continue to do more to provide immediate relief to our Valley as we work on long-term solutions.”