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Congressman David G. Valadao Introduces Legislation to Address Worsening California Drought

  • NEED Water Act
Today, Congressman David G. Valadao introduced the Necessary to Ensure Expeditious Delivery of Water Act, or NEED Water Act, to provide emergency drought relief for the Central Valley.

Congressman David G. Valadao Introduces Legislation to Address Worsening California Drought

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman David G. Valadao introduced the Necessary to Ensure Expeditious Delivery of Water Act, or NEED Water Act, to provide emergency drought relief for the Central Valley. Given the State of Emergency Declaration by Governor Newsom as a result of the severe drought, the legislation would protect water currently in the Central Valley Project system for human needs and reduce regulatory burdens in order to lessen the negative impacts of the drought on Central Valley residents. This bill would also extend the California provisions of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act (P.L. 114-322) and is cosponsored by the entire California Republican delegation.

“Burdensome regulations continue to prevent communities in my district from getting the water they desperately need. The reservoirs are currently extremely low because of disastrous policies that force us to waste water during wet years. The severity of the effects of this drought could have been lessened by commonsense actions during years with more rain. The lack of rain this year is exacerbating the ongoing drought, and my constituents are in desperate need of immediate relief,” said Congressman David Valadao (CA-21).  “While the NEED Water Act is not a long-term solution, it would provide temporary operational flexibility for the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project to reduce water supply shortages in Valley communities.”

"Ensuring our families, farmers, and communities get the water they need is critical. No one knows this better than Congressman David Valadao. He has been a key champion on water policies, and I look forward to continuing to work with David to help ensure a reliable water supply for those living in the Central Valley and throughout California," said Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23).

“At a time when Sacramento won’t help Valley farming families, and extremist groups are abusing the judicial system to stop the Valley from getting more water, this bill offers vital assistance to Valley farmers who are suffering from a decades-long, man-made water crisis,” said Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22).

“Droughts are natures fault, but water shortages are the fault of poor government policies. As California faces dry conditions, there is no substitute to restoring abundance as the objective of our water policy. This bill meets that objective by upholding the best available science for CVP operations, reducing regulatory burdens, and extending the WIIN Act,” said Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04).  

“With California in another serious drought it is essential that we make water decisions based on the best science available and appropriately balance our state’s competing water needs,” said Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42). “I’m grateful Rep. Valadao has introduced the NEED Water Act and am proud to cosponsor the bill. The legislation renews the historic water infrastructure investments made in the WIIN Act and provides our regulatory agencies with the flexibility necessary to respond to this drought emergency. Congress must take action to address this crisis for our state, and the NEED Water Act would be a great place to start.”

“Meeting California’s water needs requires creative approaches and new ideas that protect this precious resource for residential use and an agriculture industry that truly feeds the world — especially during current drought conditions. My friend Congressman Valadao has done just that, and I’m proud to cosponsor the NEED Water Act,” said Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-50).

“Each year, California farmers have to prepare for nature’s whims: flood or drought, heat wave or cold spell. Each year is different from the previous one. This year, California is experiencing some of the worst hydrological conditions on record. Compounding this natural disaster, the Biden and Newsom Administrations have continued to prioritize water flows for fish over human needs,” said Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). “The NEED Water Act would require them to comply with their existing agreements to deliver water and maintain the most recent scientific update to the Biological Opinions that govern the California Water System. Without this legislation, California farmers, families, and regions that rely on agriculture will be sentenced to government-induced destitution.”

“The NEED Water Act provides the flexibility needed for California to meet its water needs. Delivering water to communities who need it is critically important. This bill reduces burdensome regulations and ensures these communities see immediate relief. I’m proud to support this important legislation,” said Congresswoman Michelle Steel (CA-48).

“California is amidst another drought crisis and it is imperative we do all we can to improve and address California’s water needs. I am pleased to cosponsor the NEED Water Act, which would help reduce water supply shortages in California as well as extend California water storage provisions from the WIIN Act that are set to expire. We must continue to do all we can to ensure Californians have the access to water that they desperately need,” said Congressman Mike Garcia (CA-25).

“The drought we’re experiencing in California is impacting workers, families and our food supply chain across our state. Our water supply is essential for the public health and safety of our communities in the 39th District of California, the State and the nation. I’m proud to join Rep. Valadao and my California colleagues to introduce this bill to reduce regulatory burdens hindering water access, and I will do all I can to provide certainty and secure water for my constituents,” said Rep. Young Kim (CA-39). 

“We are approaching what will likely be one of the worst droughts in our state’s history. It is critical that we take steps now to increase flexibility in our water system, reduce regulatory burdens, and enhance our ability to protect water needed for communities across our state, not just in our major cities,” said Congressman Jay Obernolte (CA-33). “I am proud to cosponsor the NEED Water Act, and I look forward to continuing work alongside my colleagues to address the severity of this drought and the larger issues surrounding our water resources.”

The bill can be found here