News worth noting: Vidak writes Governor for more water for Central Valley, Meral & NHI’s $12.65 billion bond proposal, historic hot water vote, and House Committee approves legislation to update the Endangered Species Act

vidakSenator Andy Vidak writes the Governor, urging him to use his powers to deliver more water to the Central Valley:  ” … While our current water situation is dire, due to the recent storms over the last few months our water supply is in a better position today than it was on this date in 1977.  According to information obtained from the Department of Water Resources, Lake Shasta currently has double the amount of water it had in 1977 and Lake Oroville has 25% more water than it had in 1977.  Even with the low amount of water stored in our reservoirs in 1977, agriculture back then received 25% of their water allocation from the Central Valley Project and users of the State Water Project received a 40% allocation.  Now today with even more water than we had in 1976-1977, we are seeing a measly 5% allocation for State Water Project users and a 0% allocation to agricultural users on the Central Valley Project.  While I understand the need to store some of this water for use next year if the drought continues, but it is possible that some of this water can be released today to provide some sustenance to our crops up and down the Valley that will die without any water. … ”  Read the letter here:  Vidak Urges Governor to Get Water to the Central Valley Now

NHIJerry Meral and the Natural Heritage Institute’s water bond proposal:  The new proposal incorporates comments received on the last version.  The bond would allocate $900 million for safe drinking water, $3.2 billion for water supply enhancements, $2.7 billion for the Delta and Yolo Bypass, $2.1 billion for watershed and ecosystem improvements, $3 billion for water storage, and $750 million for flood management – $12.65 billion by my tally.  Read the proposed bond here:  nhi water bond draft 8 April 30 2014

Click here to visit the NRDC's page on the California drought.Historic Vote Will Reduce Hot Water Waste, Save Americans Money and Time:  “Plumbing inspectors, manufacturers, engineers, contractors, labor representatives and other industry technical experts in Las Vegas voted overwhelmingly yesterday to make a change to plumbing codes that will ensure hot water pipes in new homes and commercial buildings are insulated. Overall, insulation of hot water pipes will shorten the amount of time spent waiting for hot water at showers and faucets, and cut hot water waste by 15 to 30 percent.  The vote took place during the review of proposed changes to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) Uniform Plumbing Code. The proposal was championed by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry and the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “Everybody wins by requiring insulation of hot water piping. This was made possible by a joint effort of the NRDC and the UA and represents what can be achieved for the greater good of all of us when we work together,” said Mike Massey, Executive Director, Piping Industry Progress & Education Trust Fund. … ”  Read more from the NRDC here:  Historic Vote Will Reduce Hot Water Waste, Save Americans Money and Time

house nat res commHouse Natural Resources Committee Approves Legislation to Update and Improve the Endangered Species Act:  “Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved four targeted bills that would improve and modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The primary focus of these four bills is to promote data and cost transparency and species recovery.  These bills have been endorsed by over 25 organizations including, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Family Farm Alliance, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Counties, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Water Resources Association, Washington Farm Bureau, Oregon Farm Bureau, Public Power Council, and National Association of Conservation Districts.  “There is widespread support for conserving endangered species, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. This is a 40-year-old law that was last reauthorized in 1988; certainly there are ways to bring this law into the 21st century and make it work better for both species and people. These are four common sense bills that are very narrowly focused and make targeted improvements to the law in the areas of transparency and species recovery,” said Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). … ”  Find out more about H.R. 4316: The Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act, H.R. 4318: The Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act, and others here:  House Natural Resources Committee Approves Legislation to Update and Improve the Endangered Species Act

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