Letter: State legislators write Bureau of Reclamation: “It would be unconscionable for the Bureau not to honor rescheduled water from the 2013-2014 contract year.”

letter mailboxA group of state legislators has written the Bureau of Reclamation’s Commissioner Michael Connor and Regional Director David Murillo expressing their concerns about the possibility of rescheduled water held over from last year not being available this year.  They say it would be ‘unconscionable’ for the Bureau not to honor the rescheduled water.

“Many growers in the San Joaquin Valley rely on contracted surface water from the Central Valley Project.  For years, individuals have been able to reschedule water that was not used in the previous contract year for use in the upcoming contract year.  These growers have been able to make these decisions because of significant financial investments in water conservation equipment, the purchasing of millions of dollars’ worth of water through transfers, and the fallowing of land.  This prudent action by growers was made with the understanding that rescheduled water would protect growers from drought conditions that may happen in the upcoming year.  It would be egregious for the Bureau to penalize growers who adopted these practices based on the Bureau’s own guideline that they could reschedule water from one contract year to the next.”

Blocking access to rescheduled water would be a disastrous economic blow to the growers and the region, and will result in increased groundwater overdraft and subsidence issues within the Valley, the letter states.

The letter is signed by State Senators Andy Vidak, Anthony Cannella, Tom Berryhill, and Jean Fuller, and State Assemblymembers Frank Bigelow, Jim Patterson, Connie Conway, and Henry T. Perea.

To read the letter, click here.

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