U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (D-05), George Miller (D-11), Doris Matsui (D-06), Jerry McNerney (D-09), and John Garamendi (D-03) today voted against H.R. 5781, so-called “California Emergency Drought Relief Act.” The legislation, introduced on December 2nd, was sent to the House Floor without any committee review or input from any state or federal water agencies, fishing interests, or tribes. H.R. 5781 would mandate the pumping of Delta water to South of the Delta.
“This deeply flawed legislation is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to use the drought as an excuse to steal water from the Bay Delta – and to do so with zero regard for the folks who depend on that water for their livelihoods. It was rushed to the House Floor with no consideration given to the jobs it would destroy, the water supply to urban and rural areas it would jeopardize, environmental protections it would gut, the drinking water it would damage, or the fact that it would do nothing to alleviate the drought.
“The entire state of California is in a drought. It’s not due to a lack of pumping. It’s due to a lack of snow and rain. If the Majority was interested in actually addressing the drought, there are things we could do to help. Congress can invest in more water conservation, more water recycling, and more water storage. With investments like these, we can collect millions of gallons of new water, ensure urban and rural areas have a reliable water supply, help farmers better plan, and create good jobs. This bill does none of that. Our people deserve better than this politically driven bill. They deserve science-based solutions.”