Today, the Tulare County Farm Bureau published Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s op-ed highlighting President Trump’s resolve to help the state of California with water policy. In signing a new Presidential Memorandum on “Developing and Delivering More Water Supplies in California” this week, President Trump is further emphasizing his desire to protect California’s farming communities.
President Trump Continues Fighting for Our Agricultural Communities
By Congressman Kevin McCarthy
February 21, 2020
California is an agricultural giant — the fifth largest ag producer in the world. Much of that produce, I’m proud to recognize, comes from our very own backyard in Kern and Tulare Counties. From citrus to specialty crops to dairy and everything in between, our community is one of the most agriculturally-productive in the nation. Though I often say that California feeds the world, it is only because water is the lifeblood of our farms that this is possible.
Californians need water, and we should be able to enjoy access to the water that we contract and pay for. Unfortunately, actions by federal and Sacramento bureaucrats throughout the years have left our farming communities reeling. Senseless regulations flushed billions of gallons of water out to the ocean — water that could have been sent to California’s farms and rural communities to help sustain their productivity. Instead, extreme environmentalists insisted that our government prioritize regulations that put fish and the environment over protecting our nation’s farmlands south-of-the-Delta. The aftermath of bad decision-making resulted in once productive farmland being fallowed, while many farmworkers also lost their jobs. Water is too scarce of a resource to be wasted; not only were these actions by overzealous bureaucrats a travesty, but they were completely avoidable.
Our agricultural producers deserve to have access to this water, which is why I am grateful to finally have an ally in the White House who understands the real plights facing everyday Americans, like our farmers. President Trump has not hesitated to take steps, informed by the latest science and data, to help ensure that California’s water supply, and in turn America’s food supply, remains steady and secure while continuing to protect the environment.
In reflection of that commitment, President Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum on Promoting the Reliable Supply and Delivery of Water in the West in October of 2018. This memorandum prioritized expanding California water storage by replacing old, failed regulations with new ones based on the latest science, ensuring that more water can be stored during wet years for use in dry ones. In turn, these actions will help provide immense relief to farmers and families in the San Joaquin Valley and communities across the state who’ve been devastated by drought throughout the years.
Just a few months later in February 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation — at the President’s direction — released a biological assessment on the long-term coordinated operation of the Central Valley and California State Water Projects. This was an important step towards updating various regulations governing water supplies in California, including exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to communities in the Central Valley and southern California.
In signing a new Presidential Memorandum on “Developing and Delivering More Water Supplies in California” this week, President Trump is further emphasizing his desire to protect our state’s farming communities. This document will ensure that the continued modernization of California water policy and infrastructure is implemented expeditiously, efficiently, and cost-effectively. I urge Governor Newsom and Attorney General Becerra to follow through on the governor’s recent pledge to work constructively with the Trump Administration to bring water to the Central Valley and southern California. This is much more productive than engaging in endless litigation and pursuing state policies that deny our communities water.
Though these are just a few examples of the President’s resolve to help our state with water policy, he has consistently proven himself to be a staunch ally for Californians on countless issues. From understanding our affordable housing obstacles to addressing homelessness to championing trade deals that will provide economic advantages across industries, the President recognizes the real challenges affecting our state, and wants to help us address them. His visit marked the beginning of what I am confident will be a new era of prosperity for Californians, and I look forward to seeing how our state will continue to benefit from his policy acumen.
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