Posted March 25, 2014
 
California will ease some water restrictions protecting fish in the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta to make more water available for farming, according to a Reuters article available here.
 
“California’s agriculture is critical to the world’s food supply,” said assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, who represents part of the San Joaquin Valley who lobbied against the restrictions.  “An inability to produce that food would clearly be devastating to health and human safety not only in California, but around the globe.”
 
“We were quite concerned at the time about the issue of public health and safety,” said Tom Howard executive director of the state Water Resources Control Board. 
 
California is in its third year of a drought, leaving “some small communities at risk of running out of drinking water and possibly forcing farmers to leave fallow a half-million acres” of land.
 
California legislators recently hosted a congressional hearing on the drought and strategies for solving the problem, according to an article by Seattle PI, available here.
 
The House Natural Resources Committee began the hearing with statements from members of Congress, testimony from Central Valley farmers, and community and state leaders.
 
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said a “radical ideology” has made its way into California water policy, “overburdening new projects with government regulation.”
 
Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) announced a bill to build a new reservoir.
 
Gov. Brown commented, “We’re going to emphasize water conservation and water recycling and managing the water below the ground and above the ground…So that’s the big topic today.  We’re in the middle of March, and it feels like July.  And so we know what our work is.”

 

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