Rep. Costa Announces Water Increase For Valley
Responds To Latest Salazar Water Announcement
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 25 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 35 percent water allocation for Westside Valley farmers and farm communities at normal contracted water rates.“Today’s announcement is welcome news for the Valley and our local economy,” Costa said. “Every additional drop of water we secure is a step forward in our ongoing fight to bring more water to our farmers, farm workers, and farm communities. While the increase is positive news, I want to make it clear that a 35 percent water allocation still falls short of what Valley farmers and communities need to get by. Our Valley’s water district managers have stated that our farmers need a minimum allocation of 40 percent to make it through the year.”
Interior’s latest announcement is an increase from the Department’s initial announcement of 5 percent to agricultural service contractors south of the Delta on February 26. Since the current Administration took office, Congressman Costa has taken every opportunity to meet with President Obama and officials from the Department of the Interior to press for an increased water supply for the Valley.
“Our fight for a fair and sustainable supply of water this year is far from over,” Costa said. “Timeliness and specific details remain key as farmers need to make decisions for this year’s growing season as soon as possible. After taking our Valley’s message directly to the President and meeting repeatedly with officials from the Interior Department, I am pleased that the Administration increased the Valley’s water supply. The President and the Department of Interior must continue to think outside the box and do whatever it takes to provide at least a 40% water allocation.”
Costa also acknowledged the efforts of Secretary Salazar, and expressed appreciation for his colleagues Senator Feinstein, Congressman Cardoza, and Leader Hoyer.
“I recognize the efforts of the Interior Department, and appreciate the continued support of Senator Feinstein, Congressman Cardoza, and Leader Hoyer for the Valley” Costa said. “Water for the Valley means jobs and economic opportunity. I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure our Valley has the water we need to get back on track.”