The Republican-backed legislation would allow Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta pumps to continue to send water to the Central Valley as long as water is available.
Those pumps are sending minimal water to the valley now because of low reservoir levels and river flows, not environmental regulations that protect endangered fish.
The bill would also stop the restoration of the San Joaquin River until 2015.
Shawn Coburn of Firebaugh farms in three counties in the valley and uses water from two federal systems.
“It’s like closing the gate after the cow has gotten out, it’s a little bit late now, but anything is better than nothing,” says Coburn.
Environmentalists and several Democratic House members called the legislation a “water grab” and an attempt to throw out the Endangered Species Act.
“Sucking the Delta dry is not the answer to California’s water issues," said Democratic Congresswoman Doris Matsui in a statement. "We need long-term solutions that will benefit the entire state, and should be working together to solve California’s water problems through a balanced approach. This proposal is anything but balanced and will only create further discord.”
The legislation is backed by Congressmen Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and David Valadao.
Governor Jerry Brown’s new proposal to allow local water agency employees to fine California water wasters up to $10,000 without going to court is creating fears of government overreach.
The American Lung Association's annual air quality report said many California cities have some of the worst air pollution in the country.
California cities, counties and water agencies could fine water wasters up to $10,000 – without going through the court system – under a new proposal from Governor Jerry Brown.
California Governor Jerry Brown is giving water agencies and cities more power to enforce conservation requirements.
Some areas in the Sacramento region will have to reduce water use by 36 percent under proposed emergency drought rules from state water regulators. How urban suppliers will reach that goal varies. Enforcement is likely to increase everywhere.