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March 31, 2011

Washington Doesn't Understand California's Water Problems

[Page: H2050]  GPO's PDF 

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(Mr. COSTA asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. COSTA. Madam Speaker, California's Governor will soon declare an end to the drought that devastated the San Joaquin Valley. Our cities are flooding and our rivers are raging and the snowpack in the Sierras is deeper than it has been in any 15-year period. It is clear that the drought is over. Somehow, though, Washington has not gotten the news.

With unemployment still in double digits in seven counties in the valley and unemployment continuing to be very problematic, the folks in Washington think that communities can recover from the Great Recession with just over half the water our farmers need. They don't understand the valley. They don't understand us.

Do you hear me, Commerce Department? Do you hear me, Secretary Locke? Water is the lifeblood of the San Joaquin Valley. It puts food on our table. It sustains our economy, and it creates good jobs. That is why I am introducing legislation that will allow the needed flexibility for California's water policy.

As we work to find short-term and long-term solutions to California's broken water system, passing commonsense legislation will bring over half a million acre-feet of water to valley farmers and farm communities. It is time to put aside our political differences. It is time to reach a compromise, and it is time to end this regulatory drought.

(House of Representatives - March 30, 2011)

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