Today, Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) voted for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act, H.R. 3964, in an effort to provide relief to the ongoing water shortage affecting California. The legislation was approved by a vote of 229 to 191.
“California faces a significant threat to its already fragile economy if we fail to take action to confront our water shortage,” said Rep. Calvert. “Congress can’t pass a bill to make it rain, but we can pass a bill to put an end to the water shortages that have been caused by misguided regulatory decisions. California families and farmers are tired of seeing millions and millions of gallons of water being flushed out to the Pacific Ocean while our state suffers the economic ramifications.”
Click HERE to watch a video of Rep. Calvert's remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 3964.
Summary of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act
The Act includes a number of provisions that will ensure water reliability by updating the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) to ensure that it fulfills original promises while focusing on native species.
The Act reaffirms the original CVPIA commitment that a maximum of 800,000 acre-feet of water will be dedicated to fish, wildlife, and habitat restoration purposes. It is generally accepted that, on average, the provisions in CVPIA dedicate 1.2 million acre-feet annually to environmental purposes. The Act ensures that 800,000 acre-feet is a cap and that the water can be reused for contractual obligations. The Act further provides a safety net for Delta Division contractors in low water years by requiring a 25% reduction in the 800,000 acre-feet if Delta Division water allocations are below 75% by March 15th.
The Act restores consistency in water contracts by directing the Secretary to provide successive 40 year renewal of existing long-term contracts which promotes the certainty required for long-term investment. The right of successive renewal is a critical component in long-term financing and planning for agricultural and urban water contractors.