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Valley Water

  • Led the charge to ensure that the 340,000 acre-feet of 2013 carryover water was able to be used for its intended purpose of irrigated agriculture during the 2014 drought.
  • Urged Governor Brown to declare a drought emergency in the state and to take actions to conserve the water available to the state for human use.  On January 17, 2014, Governor Brown declared a statewide drought emergency, calling for actions to reduce the state’s water use, activating California’s Emergency Response plan and freeing up drought relief funding for many of the counties across the Valley.  The actions and flexibility provided by state and federal agencies this year resulted in approximately 200,000 acre-feet of water being pumped that would have been lost under standard regulatory practices.
  • Brought President Obama and Governor Brown to the Valley, where the President announced that the federal government would be providing the following disaster assistance to California:
    • $100 million in livestock disaster assistance for California producers;
    • $15 million in targeted conservation assistance for the most extreme and exceptional drought areas;
    • $5 million in targeted Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program assistance to the most drought impacted areas of California to protect vulnerable soils;
    • $60 million to California food banks to help families that may be economically impacted by the drought;
    • 600 summer meal sites to be established in California’s drought stricken areas;
    • $3 million in Emergency Water Assistance Grants for rural communities experiencing water shortages.
    • This assistance is in addition to the USDA announcement of $20 million in Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Funds for agricultural conservation in California and $15 million in Conservation Innovation Grants.
  • Authored legislation to create the Kern County Water Bank-America's largest water bank.
  • Obtained $18.7 million for Delta Mendota Canal-California Aqueduct Intertie, producing 35,000 acre-feet of water annually.
  • Brought over $25 million to local water districts for projects increasing water quality, supply and water crisis relief for families and farms, including the following: Westlands Water District, Byron Bethany Irrigation District, Del Puerto Water District, Firebaugh Canal Water District, Fresno Slough Water District, Central California Irrigation District, Semitropic Water Storage District, Grassland Water District, and San Luis Water District.
  • Instrumental in bringing over 200,000 acre-feet of transferred water to combat the 2009 crisis.
  • $2.5 million for Improved Water Supply Reliability Grants.
  • $1 million to Improve and Maintain Jones Pumping Plant Systems.
  • Helped bring increased water allocation to south of Delta agriculture in 2010, totaling up to 198,000 acre feet of water not previously available to farmers at contracted rates.
  • $1.5 million for Water Conservation and Delivery at Madera Water Bank. Increased Kaweah Reservoir's capacity by 48,000 acre feet, improving water storage and flood protection.