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Congressman Makes Case For Central Valley Water

In the continued battle over water raging in the region, Congressman Jeff Denham sent a letter this week to the White House requesting the president take immediate action to stop Sacramento’s radical water grab that would cripple the Central Valley’s economy, farms and communities.

The state’s water grab, the congressman said, is an unprecedented assault on the Central Valley’s water, economy and livelihood and would drain Valley reservoirs, stop hydropower generation, and flush badly needed fresh water out to the ocean.

“The future of the Valley is at stake,” said Denham. “Sacramento’s water grab is the biggest threat we face, and it must be stopped at all costs.”

Denham passed an amendment through the U.S. House of Representatives in July to prohibit federal agencies from participating in the state’s plan to deplete the federally owned New Melones Reservoir. The U.S. Senate has failed to act, which Denham said puts at risk the entire Central Valley region and the agriculture industry it relies on.

Denham’s letter also addresses the future of Don Pedro Reservoir, pointing out that “bureaucrats in Sacramento” are using the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to shut down hydropower generation and drastically increase flows on the Tuolumne River.

“The NMFS Sacramento office is essentially holding the Department of Energy, Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture hostage through the hydropower relicensing process as they try to flush insane amounts of our usable water into the ocean, all while charging Valley residents hundreds of millions of dollars to put an experimental fish passage at Don Pedro,” said Denham, adding that no available science supports this idea.