Congressman Valadao urges Biden Administration to ensure California water supply

By The Leader Staff
Rep. David Valadao
Rep. David Valadao

Rep. David G. Valadao, Kings County’s congressman, and the entire California Republican delegation sent a letter to the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce)  emphasizing California’s water needs.

Valadao said his letter was meant to express strong support for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s new coordinated long-term operations plan for the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the California State Water Project (SWP). This includes the associated biological opinions developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) within the Interior and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) within Commerce that were completed last year.

Unfortunately, both the FWS and NMFS biological opinions have been included on a list of regulations for review by the Biden Administration, which creates significant uncertainty about their future and resulting water supply impacts across the state of California.  

“As a lifelong farmer, I know firsthand just how important reliable water supply is to California farmers, families, and communities,” said Valadao. “The unnecessary review and potential reversal of these important biological opinions would jeopardize water supply to the Central Valley and would have detrimental, long-lasting effects on our local economies.” Valadao added that the biological opinions were updated with the most accurate data and were subject to multiple peer-reviews by experts. He urged the Biden Administration to keep these science-based biological opinions intact, allowing local communities to continue feeding America.

“California is home to some of the nation’s most precious natural resources and wildlife, and the biological opinions completed in 2019 use the latest science to determine how to best protect those resources while ensuring that our families, farmers, and communities receive the water they contract and pay for,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “Last year, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Commerce followed the science to create these new policies, and now the Biden Administration must follow them. It’s time that Democrats end the war on water, and I applaud David for picking up the baton and continuing the fight for our Central Valley constituents and Californians across the State.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (CA-22) said that “If fully implemented, the updated biological opinions will do more to end the San Joaquin Valley’s water crisis than any other measure taken in the last decade. Adherence to the new biops, which are based on the newest, most accurate scientific data, is absolutely crucial for guaranteeing that Valley farmers can continue growing food to feed the nation.”

The letter can be found here.

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