Putting fish first – Ken Calvert Warns HNRC

Published: March 31, 2009

This morning Corona Congressman Ken Calvert testified about the water situation in California. Ken laid it on the line for them that they are putting a species of fish before the water needs of California.

This continued action by the federal Government will ensure that our water bills spike, that farms go under and that the state of California continues to suffer under a self-imposed drought. It ain’t real people. Look at the amount of water that spills from, the Sacramento River into the ocean on any given day.

No it’s not a supply problem, it’s a political problem. It would be easier to count on an act of nature than put our faith in whatever comes out of the House Natural Resources Committee. This was the same group that State Senator Hollingsworth was trying to get our Governor to contact regarding this very issue. Arnie hasn’t stepped up yet but Ken Calvert has. Thanks Ken.

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ken calvert

Dear Friends,

This morning I testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on the California Water Drought. I thought it was necessary to point out the federally-imposed pumping restrictions puts a species of fish – the delta smelt – before the water needs of Californians.

I stated to the Committee that the current drought is not like other droughts. In addition to suffering from a natural dry spell, California is also suffering from a federally-imposed dry spell. In December 2007, a federal judge ordered restrictions on water project operations in the Bay-Delta to help protect a threatened fish species, the delta smelt. Combined with the dry conditions, the impact of the federally-imposed pumping restrictions is extraordinary. In total, the federally imposed water restrictions have resulted in the loss of nearly a third of the water supply that 25 million Californians depend on from the Delta operations.

I told the Members of the Committee that if the federal government is going to continue to give federal agencies the authority to take actions that kill jobs and harm our economy for the benefit of species, then the American people deserve clear and undeniable evidence that those actions are in fact benefiting the species (I don’t believe that such evidence exists).

As the former the former Chairman of the House Water and Power Subcommittee, I understand that we must work to maintain and enhance a reliable water supply in California and our nation. In 2004 I was able to pass, H.R. 2828, the Water Supply, Reliability and Environmental Enhancement Act, and it was signed into law. This federal reauthorization of the California-Federal Bay Delta Program (CALFED) plays a critical role in developing new water yield and adequate storage.

Since I was first elected to Congress I have spent a considerable amount of my time and energy trying to address the water challenges in California. In my quest for long-term solutions, I have always been willing to reach across the aisle and I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans to tackle California’s water challenges.


Ken Calvert

Last modified: March 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Originally published: March 31, 2009 at 4:25 pm
Printed: September 27, 2020