CSPA and the thirty-plus members of the Environmental Water Caucus submitted a letter opposing HR 3964 to the Speaker and Minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. The proposed legislation, authored by Representative David Valadao of Hanford and described as an “Emergency Water Delivery Act,” is a callous political stunt that uses the drought as an excuse to legislatively overturn California and federal water and environmental laws.
The bill would mandate increased delivery of northern California water to Valadao’s corporate agricultural constituents in the southern San Joaquin Valley: water that simply doesn’t exist in the present drought. It would reduce water quality and reliability for Delta communities and farms, strip Endangered Species Act protections for listed fish species, overturn the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act, gut the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, override current protections for the Merced River under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and modify water contracts to provide more water for certain contractors than they are entitled to under present contracts.
With the support of the Republican majority, the bill bypassed relevant committees and, with no hearings, is headed for a vote on the House floor this week. Concerned citizens are urged to locate their Congressional Representatives on CSPA’s “Take Action” page and submit an email opposing this ill-considered legislation.