California Delegation Urges Congress to Continue Support of Water Objectives

California congressional delegation is urging the delegation to support certain water objectives APG continues to work on behalf of our members to address California’s ongoing drought. Recently this letter was submitted to members of Congress urging them to act on legislation to help restore water supplies to California farms and communities.

Dear Member of Congress,
Over a year ago, we wrote to thank each of you for your respective legislative efforts to address the dire water situation facing the State of California. At that time, we also called upon you to resolve the differences between the House and Senate legislative proposals to finally deliver much-needed relief to the parched state. To facilitate the resolution of those differences, we put forward key concepts we continue to believe are essential to developing legislation that actually helps our communities.

We sincerely appreciate each of your efforts in this new Congress to pass H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 through the U.S. House of Representatives, and to introduce S. 1894, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2015 in the Senate; however, we are acutely aware of how far these efforts are from actually getting enacted into law. Efforts short of congressional enactment bring no relief from the current regulatory and legal headwinds imposed upon us. Simply put, we need more from each of you.

Therefore, we are once again asking each of you to work diligently and in good faith to bridge your differences. Failure will ensure that the current regulatory and policy regimes that were put in place to improve the health of the Delta and the Central Valley, but have actually done the opposite, will continue unchecked. As a result, more acreage will be fallowed further diminishing our ability to provide a safe and sustainable food supply and threatening our national security. In addition, the demands on food banks, existing high unemployment, the inability of families to pay utilities and stay in their homes, and the lack of job opportunity that already exists in disadvantaged communities will all be exacerbated.

To facilitate the resolution of your differences, we emphasize the concepts we believe are essential to any legislation that moves forward. To be meaningful, any bill must:
• Provide congressional direction concerning the operation of the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project to ensure sufficient operational flexibility to restore water supply and water supply reliability to the farms, communities and refuges dependent on Delta operations. The operators of these projects must be able to capture water from the Delta during periods of higher flows and move water from north to south in order to achieve this critical objective.
• Extend the provisions of any legislation for a period of time that will allow communities to establish sound long-term water supplies for their future;
• Establish a process that could lead to increased storage in a reasonable timeframe;
• Ensure that additional burdens are not placed on the State Water Project as a result of congressional action; and
• Recognize that the reasonableness and efficacy of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program must be reevaluated in light of changed conditions since its authorization, including the reality of federal budget constraints.

We are optimistic that if you focus on addressing these concepts, you can resolve your differences in time to provide our communities the needed relief. It is time for you to move forward with policies that restore regulatory balance, achieve benefits, and improve the social, economic, and environmental health of much of California.

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American Pistachio Growers

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Fresno, CA 93720
Telephone: 559.475.0435
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