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Brown V. Washington

With all the water flowing to the ocean this year Congress is rightfully looking at how federal policy is impacting the state.

Jul 13, 2017

When California Governor Jerry Brown wants help with high-speed rail he has no problem asking the feds for money, or when it comes to climate change he has no problem asking the world, but when it comes to water he insists it's totally up to the state.  Problem is, he's wrong.  The Central Valley Project is a federal project.  Friant Dam is part of it.  San Luis Reservoir is jointly run by the state and the feds.  We have separate state and federal pumps in the Delta.  The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement is an act of Congress signed by the President.  The Endangered Species Act is federal law.  The state can't change it.  Out entire water system in the state is a federal and state co-mingle that can't be undone. 

The House passed H.R.23 yesterday, the “Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017", but during the debate Governor Brown wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan opposing it.  He protests the federal intrusion into California water policy.  But, with all the water flowing to the ocean this year Congress is rightfully looking at how federal policy is impacting the state.  HR23 would loosen some of the stringent requirements of the ESA, something only Congress can do.  They would also modify the 1992 Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) allowing more water for agriculture, again something only Congress can do.  And it could also stop the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement, federal law that can only be changed by Congress.  

Governor Brown didn't complain when the feds built these projects.  He didn't complain about federal interference when they did what he liked, like the ESA or river restoration.  But, when he doesn't like it, he complains they have no business in the state.  Well, they do have business in the state.  They are doing their job and the fact that he doesn't like it means it's more than likely good for our Valley cities and agriculture.
 
 

Fish or farms? A new battle rages over California water

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