Valadao leads tour through Central Valley, Calif., highlighting water challenges

Reps. Valadao and Bentz

U.S. Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) recently led a traveling water tour through California’s Central Valley to discuss the state’s water delivery systems, water storage capacity, and regulations that make it increasingly difficult for agricultural producers and rural communities to access water.

“These discussions highlighted the reforms desperately needed to bring more water to the valley,” Rep. Valadao said. “For too long, the Central Valley has suffered from devastating drought conditions, unfair water allocations, and a gross mismanagement of the water we do have by Sacramento bureaucrats and environmentalists.”

During the tour, the congressman hosted U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR), ranking member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, which has jurisdiction over America’s water resources, federal irrigation projects, generation of electric power from federal water projects, interstate water issues, and fisheries management.   

The lawmakers met with water agencies, stakeholders, and farmers from across the valley, including in the Kings River Conservation District, the Westlands Water District, and in Kern County and the Tulare Irrigation District, among several others.

“Ensuring our rural and agricultural communities throughout the Central Valley have access to the water they need has always been my top priority,” said Rep. Valadao. “Thank you to Ranking Member Bentz for making the trip to the Central Valley to have these important conversations on drought resiliency and water management, and for his continued leadership on this critical issue.”

Rep. Bentz said that drought challenges are being faced across the West, including in his Oregon district. “It was great to have the opportunity to tour water systems with Congressman Valadao in the Central Valley,” he said. “We must adapt if we are to meet the water needs of cities, farms, ranches, homes, businesses, and tribes.”

Rep. Valadao also discussed the Working to Advance Tangible and Effective Reforms (WATER) for California Act, H.R. 9084, which he sponsored on Sept. 29 with 10 original GOP cosponsors from California, including U.S. Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Ken Calvert, Young Kim, and Michelle Steel. 

If enacted, H.R. 9084 would promote water conveyance through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, consistent with the Endangered Species Act, and advance key surface water infrastructure projects, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Valadao’s office. 

The bill is under consideration in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.