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
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.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says, other than a slight reduction in exceptional drought in the northern Sierra, it needs more time to assess impacts of the recent moisture on California's long-term drought.
California regulators have made modest adjustments to water conservation requirements for cities.
The second measurement this winter of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was 130 percent of average. State water officials say the snowpack will help reservoir recovery.
California's water conservation rate dropped to 18 percent in December. But water regulators say the state continues to meet its long term goals.