Costa, Local Ag Leaders Urge Senate to Pass California Water Legislation


FRESNO, CA – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) and Valley water and agriculture leaders held a press conference to urge the United States Senate to support the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act with language to assist in reducing the impacts of California’s drought crisis and to build additional long-term drought resiliency.

“The bill is a positive step in the right direction for the people of the San Joaquin Valley and all Californians,” said Congressman Jim Costa. “As we all know too well in the Valley, due to the combination of the drought and flawed policies, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive agriculture land has gone fallow and thousands of families do not have water to drink, cook, or bathe. I sincerely hope that this legislation is passed out of the Senate and that it gets signed by the President immediately.”

“If this bill is enacted, it will be the result of long tireless work by Members of Congress on both sides of Capitol Hill and both sides of the aisle,” said Tom Birmingham, General Manager, Westlands Water District. “The measure overwhelming passed by the House on a vote of 360-61, represents a bi-partisan compromise that will bring interim relief to communities all over the state while we pursue long term solutions to meet the water needs of the San Joaquin Valley and the state.”

“We want to express our sincere gratitude to Rep. Costa, his staff, and his colleagues in the House and Senate who have worked tirelessly for more than three years to improve the flexibility and operations of our water system during this extreme drought,” said Jason Phillips, CEO, Friant Water Authority. “The California water provisions in the WIIN Act provide important, but modest, short-term relief for the Central Valley. No matter the outcome of the forthcoming Senate vote, much work is left to be done to resolve California’s most persistent water challenges, and we look forward to working with Rep. Costa, other Members, and the new Administration on this issue in 2017.”

“Yesterday’s vote on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) was hopefully a sign of good things to come,” said Ret. Congressman George Radanovich, President, California Fresh Fruit Association. “From my time in Congress, I understand the difficulty in bringing people together, finding compromise and knowing when this is the best that can be done. Yesterday’s WRDA bill is not perfect, nor will it solve the entirety of California’s water issues, but it is a step forward and will help ease the pain inflicted upon many Californians during this long drought, including many of the growers that I represent.”

“I would like to applaud the entire Valley delegation for their continued support in helping pass this overdue legislation, said Ryan Jacobsen, CEO, Fresno County Farm Bureau. “California’s broken water system needs to be addressed. For two generations, we have done very little. Thousands of productive agricultural acres in Fresno County have gone fallow as a result. This is unacceptable. Water equals jobs in our economy, and WIIN produces water.”

“For the first time in a generation, thanks to Congressman Costa and his colleagues in the House and Senate we have a real opportunity to modernize our water infrastructure and recognize science that can assist all in providing water for our environment, families, communities and farms,” said Joel Nelsen, President, California Citrus Mutual. “We don’t rely upon 1960 model cars nor wear fashions from that time thus our subjectivity surrounding legislation from that era needs to be replaced with legitimate data. Our aged infrastructure designed for a smaller California populace requires expansion. Our sincere thanks to all for helping take our state into the future.”

“I would like to thank the Valley Congressional delegation, Congressmen Jim Costa, David Valadao, and Kevin McCarthy and Senator Dianne Feinstein for their hard work,” said Steve Chedester, Executive Director, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority. “This legislation is critical for our water supply. I look forward to working with the new Administration, rolling up our sleeves, and finding new solutions for regulatory relief.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act tonight.

Source: Rep. Jim Costa


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