Rep. LaMalfa Urges Protection of North State’s Water Rights, Construction of New Storage
For Immediate Release
February 5, 2014
Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) today urged his colleagues in the House to pass a measure which strengthens and protects the North State’s area-of-origin water rights. The bill, HR 3964, would reinforce the North State’s access to water while easing environmental restrictions that have put the needs of fish before those of humans and caused a new dust bowl in much of the Central Valley. The measure was passed by the House on a bipartisan 229-191 vote and will now be sent to the Senate, which has not released any plan addressing the drought.
“Ensuring that communities have access to water which originates in their region is the most fundamental of all water rights. A key component of this bill is an entire chapter reinforcing Northern California’s absolute, inviolable access to the rivers which begin in and flow through our area,” said LaMalfa. “We’ve worked as neighbors with our friends around the state to end the overreaching environmental rules that are literally turning the Central Valley into a new dust bowl and driving up unemployment. As Moses parted the Red Sea, we need to part the red tape that has held up California’s water supplies for so many years.”
The bill also authorizes several new surface storage projects in California, including Sites Reservoir in Colusa and Glenn Counties. LaMalfa urged Congress and California to move forward on new storage in Northern California so that more water is available in future crises.
“If projects like Sites Reservoir were in place, we’d have far more water available for cities, farms and the environment. The state needs to stop wringing its hands and give Californians the opportunity to vote on a bond that truly funds new surface storage,” LaMalfa added.
Video of Rep. LaMalfa’s comments on the floor of the House may be found at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-blBltRcMdI
Working with state Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), LaMalfa also sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown reminding him that courts, the state legislature and the federal government have all recognized the absolute priority of area-of-origin and senior water rights held by the North State.
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.