House Passes Emergency California Drought Legislation
Bill will Protect Jobs, Restore Water Deliveries

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2014 - Today, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3964, the Sacramento - San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, with a bipartisan vote of 229- 191. This legislation, sponsored by the entire Republican California delegation, addresses the emergency drought in California by restoring some water supplies to provide job certainty to farmers and communities.

“Today the House acted to address the emergency situation in California by passing bipartisan legislation; it’s now time for the Senate to do the same. The ball is in their court. Just talking about legislation and introducing legislation is not enough; the people, farmers and communities in California need the Senate to act now and pass California water legislation,” said Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). “The current man-made and natural droughts are costing thousands of jobs, fallowing fertile farmland, and threatening our domestic food supply. This bill is a solution for the future and will restore some of the water supplies to provide stability and certainty to California’s water users. California cannot afford another two years of Senate inaction.”

This legislation is similar to a bipartisan bill passed last congress to restore the flow of water to the San Joaquin- Sacramento Valley. California’s San Joaquin Valley is the salad bowl of the world, providing the majority of fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops for the entire nation. The current lack of rainfall has exacerbated the man-made drought caused by federal regulations and environmental lawsuits and threatens our nation’s domestic food supply, making American’s increasing dependent on foreign produce and foods.

Specifically, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act:

  • Restores water deliveries to communities by codifying the historic, bipartisan State/Federal agreement known as the “Bay-Delta Accord.”

  • Reforms punitive federal laws, like 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, which will bring early revenue to the U.S. Treasury.

  • Protects and secures private property and senior water rights.

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