Water bill in Congress ‘puts families before fish’

Water bill in Congress ‘puts families before fish’

A bill to address California’s drought and future water supply in the House of Representatives has Gov. Jerry Brown angry. Brown said the water bill is “an unwelcome and divisive intrusion” into California’s effort to manage the state’s drought, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday night.

California water distribution system, wikimedia

H.R. 3964 by California Congressmen David G. Valadao, CA-21, Devin Nunes, CA-22, and Kevin McCarthy, CA-23, is a comprehensive bill to resolve the water crisis in California, according to the congressmen.

“H.R. 3964 is an unwelcome and divisive intrusion into California’s efforts to manage this severe crisis,” Brown wrote in a letter to the Congressmen. “It would override state laws and protections, and mandate that certain water interests come out ahead of others. It falsely suggests the promise of water relief when that is simply not possible given the scarcity of water supplies.”

H.R. 3964 would undo years of environmental dominance in California’s water priorities.

Brown said the bill would “re-open old water wounds undermining years of progress toward reaching a collaborative long-term solution to our water needs.”

Valadeo, Nunes and McCarthy say the bill would undo a San Joaquin River restoration program, would improve water access for Valley farms. The San Joaquin restoration program to restore flows to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of Merced River and restore a self-sustaining Chinook salmon fishery.

What Brown could be angry about is the California Department of Water Resources announced in November that the Central Valley would only get five percent of the water it needs in 2014. Valadeo’s office reported Thursday, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor upheld Valadao’s position, along with other Central Valley lawmakers, regarding rescheduled water deliveries for Central Valley Project water contractors. The letter to the Bureau urged the Administration to reconsider halting rescheduled water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley farmers. The letter stated strong opposition to the use of rescheduled water to meet other Central Valley Project water delivery needs at the expense of farmers and contractors in the Valley.

In an interview I did in November with Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, he explained:

“California has had two dry years, the Central Valley is suffering under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, a federal program to restore flows to the San Joaquin River from Friant Dam to the confluence of Merced River, in order to restore Chinook salmon in the river. “Billions are being spent on dry salmon runs,” Vidak said. “We’re spending $2 million to $3 million per fish!”

H.R. 3964, the Sacramento–San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act restores water reliability to California communities by codifying the bipartisan Bay-Delta Accord,” Valadeo’s website says. “It also reforms onerous federal laws – such as the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act – that have severely curtailed water deliveries and resulted in hundreds of billions of gallons of badly needed water being flushed into the ocean.” Valadeo represents Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties, three of the hardest-hit counties in the recession and drought.

“The current California drought is a crisis exacerbated by the failure of government to ensure water flows to our communities and farms,” said Rep. McCarthy. “Today, led by my good friend Rep. David Valadao, the entire California Republican delegation in the House introduced legislation to put families before fish. One more day cannot go by without addressing the shortage of a resource so precious to our economy and wellbeing. It is time, as representatives for the entire state, that Senator Boxer and Senator Feinstein support drought stricken Californians and get behind this legislation.”

Valadeo’s website recently reported House Republicans passed comprehensive water policy reform legislation for California (H.R. 1837) in February 2012. The bill would have mitigated the water crisis now going on in the Central Valley. However, the bill died in the Senate “due to the opposition of California’s Democratic Senators,” Valadeo’s website reported. “No Senate hearings were held, nor were any amendments offered or alternatives proposed. Furthermore, the Senate recently prevented the addition of emergency drought relief provisions for California in the Farm Bill,” the website said.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 4 February, 2014, 09:26

    Valadao, Nunes and McCarthy are the 3 Ca traitor republican congressmen who are pushing for the legalization (amnesty) of the 18-30M illegals in the country. They have officially signed on with the democrats. When they want to put “families before fish” naturally they are referring to their illegal families in the Central Valley. The last thing they want these families to do is self-deport. They want more lawbreakers in the country. Not less. They want more poverty in the country. Not less. They want you to pay more for that poverty in terms of more free education, free healthcare, free social services and free prison beds. Not less. They are the scourge of the Republican party and should be ousted from office. They are destroying the principles of conservatism and represent the epitome of the term ‘sell-outs’. All 3 should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    Reply this comment
  2. billyBS
    billyBS 4 February, 2014, 12:17

    Open borders with breakup of the INS should be the norm.
    Use the billions in Calpers to pay for new arrival’s needs and wants, housing with utilities, medical, schools. automobiles, cable tv service, blue ray players, etc. Use the money for new water storage as well to assist. There is no underfunding of pensions(doomer talk), so let’s come together and help our brothers and sisters lift themselves into the mainstream of the New America.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 4 February, 2014, 13:38

      You’re funny, billyBS. I like you. lol. Could you imagine how the pro-illegal liberal socialist tax grabbers on this board would howl if what you proposed became reality? It’s perfectly with them to fund amnesty bailouts with general tax revenue. But keep your hands off their loot. That’s where their compassion comes to a screeching halt! lol.

      Reply this comment
  3. Katy Grimes
    Katy Grimes Author 4 February, 2014, 17:35

    Important UPDATE: Federal authorities announced they are shutting down water releases for the San Joaquin River restoration, making the water available for 30,000 people in small communities who face the possibility of summer with dry taps.


    Reply this comment
    • Orland
      Orland 5 February, 2014, 20:17

      I am in the Northstate, The Feds removed the Red Bluff Diversion Dam that filled the Tehama/Colusa Canal That I worked putting in , Early 70s, That has irrigated about a million acres, Rice included, Now all the North State Dams are Dry, Farmers 0% percent water delivery,C.A.R.B. is removing all diesel powe pumps, The Scrubber Exhaust Law is removing all methods of pumping and distribution of products as well as Cap and Trade removing all food production, Last hope is The State of Jefferson for the Farmers, Modoc, Shasta ,Glenn Counties will go, If Butte would join we would have a chance to Farm and produce food again, Please Reply one way or another,

      Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 4 February, 2014, 19:54

    The fish were their first! They are defenseless….so cruel!

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 5 February, 2014, 11:02

    it aint about the fishies as much as it’s about a species and the interconnected nature of the environment—- trolls discuss now.

    Reply this comment
  6. Orland
    Orland 8 February, 2014, 10:29

    Say No To The Twin Tunnels , This would drain what water is left for the fish,

    Reply this comment

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