February 29, 2012
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1837, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act
, with a bipartisan vote of 246-175
. This comprehensive bill would restore water deliveries that have been cut-off due to federal regulations and environmental lawsuits, protect tens of thousands of jobs, ensure a reliable water supply for people and fish, secure water rights, and save taxpayer money by ending unnecessary and dubious government projects.
“During 2009 and 2010, the Obama Administration and the Democrat Congress stood by and did nothing while farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley were deprived of water and were put out of work. Today, House Republicans took real action to correct this situation and end future man-made droughts in California,” said Chairman Hastings. “This bill will ensure farmers have the water supply they need and will protect up to 30,000 jobs. Furthermore, the bill cuts spending by nearly $300 million and expedites incoming revenue to the tune of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. I applaud my California colleagues for their work on this legislation that will bring water and jobs back to the San Joaquin Valley.”
In 2009, federal regulations to protect a 3-inch fish - the Delta smelt - led to the deliberate diversion of over 300 billion gallons of water away from San Joaquin Valley farmers. This cost thousands of farm workers their jobs, inflicted up to 40 percent unemployment in certain communities, and fallowed hundreds of thousands of acres of fertile farmland.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act:
- Restores water deliveries to communities by codifying the historic, bipartisan State/Federal agreement known as the “Bay-Delta Accord.”
- Reforms punitive federal laws, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act, in order to provide fairness to ratepayers, promote transparency and accountability, and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Allows water users to pay off federal debt early.
- Protects and secures private property and senior water rights.
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