Washington, DC — A bill that would allow for construction of additional water storage in California will go before the House of Representatives as early as Wednesday.
HR 1837 is being pushed by some California Republicans, including District 19 Representative Jeff Denham, whose district covers Tuolumne County.
“Agriculture needs a certainty on water, so that they can plant crops year in and year out,” says Denham. “The bottom line is that we failed to store water when we had a wet year last year, and we’ve got to put more water storage in place.”
Information from Denham’s office says HR 1837 would “reform punitive federal laws, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act.”
Whether the legislation will pass the House and Senate is unknown, as it is opposed by California Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
Critics argue that it would eliminate many environmental protections currently in place, and alter some long standing water rights in the state.