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Congressman Valadao Introduces Amendments to Combat California’s Drought

Rep. David G. Valadao (CA-21) recently offered three changes to the FY23 Energy and Water Appropriations bill during a markup in the House Appropriations Committee.

Each of these modifications would help ease California’s terrible drought.

“The absence of dependable, clean water in the Valley has become a national security concern.”

Farmers throughout the Central Valley are being forced to destroy their crops to conserve water, crops that would have fed families in the United States and around the globe, according to Congressman Valadao.

“The three amendments I’ve proposed today would boost water storage capacity, provide operational flexibility, and provide assurance for our farmers.

It is incredibly disheartening that the majority rejected all three of these amendments, which would have benefited my people who grow food for the nation. I will continue my efforts to deliver additional water to the Central Valley.”

Representative Valadao spoke in favour of all of his amendments. Observe his comments here.

The first amendment would address water storage capacity concerns by extending the California storage provisions of Subtitle J of the WIIN Act through 2023.

The amendment extends the authorization of appropriations for water storage projects deemed viable by the Secretary of the Interior.

This wording compliments the RENEW WIIN Act and NEED Water Act presented by Congressman Valadao this Congress.


In addition, the amendment would establish a program to help pay for the repair of damaged canal infrastructure facilities.

This would aid in restoring existing facilities’ capability. During the markup, this amendment received bipartisan support but was ultimately rejected by the majority.

The second amendment would codify the 2019 Biological Opinions (BiOps) that were independently peer-reviewed and based on the most accurate and best research available.

The associated operations plans for the Central Valley Project and State Water Project use the 2019 BiOps science and data to assure increased water reliability and availability for California residents and agriculture while continuing to conserve species in danger.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) under the Biden administration has disregarded research and reinstituted consultation of these BiOps without explanation.

Codifying the 2019 BiOps would halt pointless litigation and provide Valley farmers with operational certainty.

This amendment would also withhold funds for the reinitiation of consultation for the 2019 BiOps, as Congress has not yet been informed of the reason for this process.

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The third amendment urges the Bureau of Reclamation to furnish the Appropriations Committee with a reason for its decision to begin consultation on the 2019 biopsy.

Congressman Valadao has led several efforts to obtain responses from the Bureau of Reclamation regarding this decision, including multiple letters that have mainly gone unanswered.

A written explanation from Reclamation would hopefully offer farmers in the Central Valley clarity and openness.

The Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee voted against all three amendments.

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