Rep. Peters Promotes Long-Term Water Planning, Decries Short-Sighted Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) stood up for a long-term California water infrastructure vision on the floor of the U.S. House. During the debate on H.R. 3964, the “Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act,” Rep. Peters offered an amendment to ensure that the bill does not harm downstream communities and takes into account water resources in future years. The amendment failed 192-231.
“We can’t make it rain, and transferring water from one place to another, as this bill does, won’t solve the long-term problem,” Rep. Peters said. “The drought will only be managed through conservation, expanding our water storage capabilities, and increasing the diversity of our water supply. San Diego is already doing its part; the County and City are national leaders in recycling wastewater and in making investments to promote conservation and build desalination facilities.”
“My amendment protects every California community by ensuring that this bill does not overlook the extended problem facing the entire state in favor of short-term relief for some of the state – relief that would come with significant harm to our state’s delicate ecological balance. We have to be looking at the bigger picture, and get to work on a bipartisan level, between the state and federal governments, to craft solutions that work for every part of California. “
The bill, which Rep. Peters voted against, would permanently divert water from the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Valleys toward the Central Valley in response to the prolonged drought facing California. This would come at the expense of other communities across northern and central California. Further, it would infringe on state sovereignty and override existing California state law surrounding water contracts, and significantly disrupt restoration efforts in the Bay-Delta without providing a long-term plan for expanding the state’s water plan and infrastructure.