Posted February 20, 2013
 
California Governor Jerry Brown is urging Congress to find a compromise that will benefit drought-stricken areas in California and around the country, according to a Capital Press article available here.
 
Brown’s reference to “political bickering involved a drought measure proposed by three Central Valley Republicans that was approved by the house last week largely along party lines.” 
 
H.R. 3964, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, would repeal some of California’s authority over its Central Valley, “rolling back the Central Valley Project Improvement and the Endangered Species Act in vital water areas.”
 
The bill would: turn on the Delta pumps this year and next year to capture future rain events; end restoration flows in the San Joaquin River for this year and next year in order to stop wasting water; and establish a bipartisan, emergency joint committee from the House and Senate to devise a long-term legislative solution.  For more information on this bill, a recent post from this blog is available here.
 
In response, California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara boxer, both Democrats, proposed legislation that would give $300 million in emergency aid and drought relief projects, upgrading city water systems and water conservation.  The full text of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, S. 2016, is available here.
 
While Brown’s administration supports the bill proposed by the Democrats, “he is doing what he can to find middle ground.”
 
President Obama recently visited the drought-affected areas, directing USDA to accelerate programs that would aid drought efforts, according to an Agri-Pulse article available here.

 

For more information on water law, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.