House Committee Approves Valadao Westlands Drainage Dispute Legislation
On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, the House Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R. 4366, the San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao.WASHINGTON - Today, Wednesday, November 16, 2016, the House Committee on Natural Resources approved H.R. 4366, the San Luis Unit Drainage Resolution Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21).
This legislation, introduced in January of this year, authorizes the settlement of a long-standing dispute between the United States and the Westlands Water District concerning the management of drainage water within Westlands’ service area in the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project (CVP). Congressional approval of the settlement would save American taxpayers billions of dollars.
Under the legislation, the United States will be relieved of potential liability of $3.5 billion for the statutory obligation to manage drainage water. The bill includes concessions made by both the Federal Government and Westlands Water District to resolve the dispute. Westlands will dismiss its drainage related claims against the U.S. and indemnify the U.S. for any damages for landowner claims arising out of pending takings litigation against the federal government. According to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the potential liability of the United States for these claims could exceed more than $2 billion. Importantly, no other CVP contractor will see their water supply jeopardized by the enactment of this legislation.
Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.