House Approves Bill to Eliminate Key California Water Protections

NRDC: ‘This is an ill-conceived proposal in search of a problem’

WASHINGTON (February 29, 2012) --  The following is a statement from Scott Slesinger, legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, on the House approval of  H.R. 1837,  the deceptively named “San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act.”

“This is an ill-conceived proposal in search of a problem. Instead of focusing on the country’s real challenges, the House Republican Leadership would rather unravel a widely acclaimed agreement already in place to restore the San Joaquin River that agricultural, fishing and environmental interests all support.

“From threatening thousands of salmon fishing jobs and fishing communities in California and Oregon, the water quality in the Bay-Delta, and the reliability of California’s water supplies, the laundry list of bad policy ideas in this bill is astounding, but sadly, not surprising anymore. This bill would overturn decades of federal water law and squash states’ water rights.

“No wonder the White House has threatened to veto it.”

For more information on the legislation: Doug Obegi, staff attorney for the Western Water Project writes about the bill in this blog post: Oppose the "State Water Rights Repeal Act" (H.R. 1837)

Obegi’s blog post Continuing Opposition to H.R. 1837 contains links to a Statement of Administration Policy opposing the bill, and more than 50 letters from members of Congress, states, local governments, Environmental, Fishing, Farming, and Business groups and many other outlining problems with the bill.