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Rep. Calvert Praises CA Drought Relief Language in Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

Rep. Calvert Praises CA Drought Relief Language in Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) praised the inclusion of several provisions that will provide relief to California’s ongoing drought in the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Rep. Calvert is a member of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee, which approved the bill earlier today.

“Despite above average rainfall in northern California this winter, our state continues to suffer due to misguided federal regulations that unnecessarily restrict our ability to take advantage of that water,” said Rep. Calvert. “Along with my California Republican colleagues, I have worked to enact common-sense reforms that will increase the water we are able to capture in a responsible manner. Californians across the state will benefit from the inclusion of these provisions in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill. I hope our California Senators can produce equally beneficial legislation on their side of the Capitol.”

Background:

(Courtesy of the House Majority Leader’s Office)

Key components from the House-passed Valadao bill (H.R. 2898) included in the FY17 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill that will help ensure the Central Valley and southern California get the water desperately needed from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by providing the Bureau of Reclamation more direction on exporting water.


Delta Pumping Requirements:

Reclamation shall pump at -5,000 cfs OMR unless that jeopardizes the long-term survival of the Delta smelt or Chinook salmon. If so, pumping can be reduced (i.e. more positive). This provision is important because it is designed to provide more direction to the Bureau of Reclamation and more certainty for our communities south of the Delta in terms of water supplies.

First Few Storms Flexibility:

Authorizes Reclamation to increase pumping to -7,500 cfs OMR to capture storm water runoff when there is high Delta outflow (i.e. water flowing into the Pacific Ocean) provided such action does not jeopardize the long-term survival of the Delta smelt or Chinook salmon. If so, pumping can be reduced (i.e. more positive). This provision is important because it helps ensure there is not a repeat of what happened this rainy season – the loss of significant amounts of El Nino-related storm water to the Pacific Ocean because pumping could not be maximized due to perceived threats to Delta smelt and Chinook salmon.

State Water Project Offset & Water Rights Protections:

This language ensures that California State Water Project (SWP) contractors benefit should the State of California revoke its consistency determination under California environmental laws between the SWP and Central Valley Project (CVP). It also ensures that senior water rights holders north and south of the Delta are preserved and protected. This language is critical to ensure that “California water wars” are not stoked by this bill. This language should help keep all parties (north v. south, east v. west, Federal v. state, etc.) whole.

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