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
Four consecutive years of drought, millions of dead trees and summer heat, are all factors as thousands of firefighters work to control wildfires in California.
Not much change is expected in drought conditions in California during the summer "dry season" but wildfire danger is increasing, with 66 million dead trees in the Sierra Nevada adding potential fuel.
The U.S. Forest Service says 66 million trees are dead in the Sierra Nevada after four consecutive years of drought in California and a bark beetle infestation.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought and water providers continue to urge voluntary conservation, as mandatory statewide rules have ended. Sacramento-area residents reduced their water use by 31 percent in May.
As thousands of federal and state firefighters work to contain wildfires in California and other western states, record-setting heat has prompted warnings from the National Weather Service for parts of California, Nevada and Arizona.