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
California lawmakers heard testimony about the dire state of the fishing industry on the West Coast.
There was a slight reduction in the percentage of drought in California over the past week. But the U.S. Drought Monitor says it will take time to ease the state's historic four-year drought.
A new study says California's four-year drought has reduced hydroelectricity generation, resulting in higher electricity costs to ratepayers and increased greenhouse gas pollution.
Legislation introduced in the California state Assembly would create the Lower American River Conservancy to improve, protect, preserve and possibly expand the 5,000-acre American River Parkway.
January brought above-average rainfall and snow to much of California, partly due to El Niño. But forecasters say the ocean warming condition is "taking a break" for the next week or longer.