Fresno, CA — A congressional committee came right to the source to hear about California’s drought crisis.
The House Natural Resources Committee heard testimony from Central Valley farmers, community leaders and state water officials hit hard by the drought. The “California Water Crisis and its Impacts: The Need for Immediate and Long-Term Solutions” hearing was held at Fresno’s City Hall.
Congressman McClintock is a co-author of the California Water Bill H.R. 3964. The House of Representatives passed the legislation on February 5, 2014. McClintock says the hearing is an important step in getting the Senate to pass his bill calling for more water rights in the state, stopping the regulatory diversions of water and creating more water storage.
McClintock says, “Droughts are a natural occurrence and are natures fault, but water shortages are our fault. We haven’t built major new storage in the state for an entire generation.”
The Mother Lode Congressman says he plans to hold subcommittee hearings in the next couple of month to investigate why state officials drained hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water from Shasta, Oroville and Folsom Lakes knowing California was going into a drought.
Tuesday, several California Republicans in Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown blasting current regulations that protected endangered fish and allowed 445,000 acre-feet of water from February rains to be lost into the ocean. The letter states the “loss of this water is absolutely unacceptable.”