Got Water? Capitol Hill Heavy Hitter Pitches Emergency Drought - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Got Water? Capitol Hill Heavy Hitter Pitches Emergency Drought Relief Bill

Posted: Updated:

The battle for more water for Central Valley farmers has now reached the nation's capitol.

Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner was in Bakersfield with fellow members of Congress to unveil a three-part Emergency Drought Relief bill to help farmers access more water this year, among the driest on record.

The bill would put a two-year stop to water releases from Friant Dam, downstream, to Chinook Salmon.

Right now, Millerton Lake is just at 40 percent capacity.

But 17 percent of that water is going to help repopulate the Salmon population.

It was part of a deal between farmers and environmentalists, that took effect in 2009.

"You just shake your head and wonder what kind of nonsense does the bureaucracy do out here," said Rep. Boehner. "How you can favor fish over people is something that people in my part of the world would never understand."

The bill would also allow farmers to pump irrigation water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Right now, they are restricted on water allotments because of environmental protections for another fish, the Delta Smelt.

"I think we ought to think about the tens of thousands of farm workers who are going to be put out of work as a result of the government misusing a law because they're answering to people with louder voices," Boehner said.

Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Visalia) added, "We're going to run cities and communities out of water because we're flushing the water out into the ocean."

The third portion of the Boehner bill would also create a bipartisan committed to come up with long-term solutions, addressing legislative matters that may have created the current crisis.

Boehner says he plans to push the bill through the House in the next couple of weeks.

But, some in the Senate are already saying it's won't go far.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent out a statement saying, in part, "Although I have not seen a draft of the House Proposal, I am concerned that it may follow the pattern of previous House Bills which seek to either preempt state law or waive state water quality and endangered species act requirements."

Feinstein adds that if some restrictions are lifted, environmental agencies could later ask for even more strict measures to compensate for the damage done during the drought emerg

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Ebola Ruled Out For Sacramento Patient

    Ebola Ruled Out For Sacramento Patient

    We have updated information on a story we first brought you on Wednesday about a patient in Sacramento being tested for the Ebola virus. State health officials say the man had some symptoms at this Kaiser Permanente hospital.More >>
    We have updated information on a story we first brought you on Wednesday about a patient in Sacramento being tested for the Ebola virus. State health officials say the man had some symptoms at this Kaiser Permanente hospital.
    More >>
  • Teen Dies Five Times and Lives To Tell His Story

    Teen Dies Five Times and Lives To Tell His Story

    A teenager from Madera Ranchos says he's lucky to be alive. Kenny Holland died when he went into cardiac arrest five times in fourteen minutes.
    More >>
    A teenager from Madera Ranchos says he's lucky to be alive. Kenny Holland died when he went into cardiac arrest five times in fourteen minutes.

    More >>
  • Man Leaves Dog In Hot Car For Hours, Gets A Ticket

    Man Leaves Dog In Hot Car For Hours, Gets A Ticket

    The dog days of summer are a real danger for dogs whose owners leave them inside hot locked cars.Animal control officers say, "Don't do it. It's against the law!"Parked cars in the hot valley sun are deathtraps for animals.On a 90-degree day, the interior temperature of a car can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.Clovis officers say a man left his dog in locked truck for more than 2 hours in a parking lot near Nees and Willow.When our KMPH Fox 26 news photographers arrived...More >>
    The dog days of summer are a real danger for dogs whose owners leave them inside hot locked cars.Animal control officers say, "Don't do it. It's against the law!"Parked cars in the hot valley sun are deathtraps for animals.On a 90-degree day, the interior temperature of a car can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.Clovis officers say a man left his dog in locked truck for more than 2 hours in a parking lot near Nees and Willow.When our KMPH Fox 26 news photographers arrived...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KMPH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.