The drought has brought a decades old California water struggle to the attention of the nation's lawmakers. The debate brought bitter accusations within the California delegation. Republicans claim environmentalists care more about fish than farmers. Doug LaMalfa of Richvale says Democrats aren't offering any solutions.
“The minority has offered amendments that would do nothing to address this crisis. Indeed their proposals would only put more roadblocks and more red tape between Californians and the water they need.”
Democrats accuse the GOP of trying to undercut California’s Constitution. Elk Grove Democratic Ami Bera says he's still hoping Congress can come up with something better.
“This is just a horrible bill – this is just a water grab. Taking water from one community where it doesn’t exist in Northern California to give to another community, that’s not solving or creating new water.”
The House passed bill isn't expected to go anywhere in the Democratic controlled Senate.
Read HR 3964 Here
@RepDavidValadao bill HR 3964 to aid and allow stored water to reach ag and other people uses was just approved by a 229-191 vote, congrats!— Doug LaMalfa (@DougLaMalfa) February 5, 2014
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
California and federal agencies say a new strategy is needed to save the endangered Delta smelt.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought. Although mandatory statewide water conservation is over, the State Water Resources Control Board says water conservation remains a "top priority."
The California Water Resources Control Board Wednesday says Californians cut water use by 28 percent in the final month of mandatory statewide conservation.