Kevin McCarthy: Bipartisan effort needed to deal with drought

The current drought in California is devastating. The order from the governor should not only alarm Californians, but the entire nation should take notice that the most productive agriculture state in the country has entered uncharted territory. We have experienced extreme drought conditions in years past but thanks to the most sophisticated water system in the country that captured and stored water during the wet years for use during the dry years, our communities and farmers survived.‎ Unfortunately, state officials have turned their back on this proven infrastructure system.

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The order is the culmination of failed federal and state policies that have exacerbated the current drought into a man-made water crisis. Sacramento and Washington have chosen to put the well-being of fish above the well-being of people by refusing to capture millions of acre-feet of water during wet years for use during dry years.

These policies imposed on us now, and during wet seasons of the past, are leaving our families, businesses, communities, and state high and dry. These rules and regulations must be changed.

My House colleagues and I have acted aggressively to enact legislation that would have helped protect us from the current situation. In 2011, and again in early 2014, the House passed comprehensive water legislation to increase the amount of water we could capture and store. Unfortunately, the Obama and Brown Administrations and Senators Boxer and Feinstein opposed these proposals. As the drought continued to worsen, the House passed emergency drought legislation in December of 2014 to allow us to capture storm and rainwater from early season storms. That too was blocked by the Senate.

I’m from the Central Valley and we know that we cannot conserve or ration our way out of this drought. It is time for action, and House Republicans are developing another legislative proposal to help put California water policy back on the path to commonsense. Given the announcement, this time I hope Governor Brown, Senator Boxer, and Senator Feinstein will join my colleagues and me in this effort.

Kevin McCarthy is the Majority Leader, United States Congress

Originally published on Fox and Hounds Daily


  1. notosharia says

    Why haven’t THEY started desalinization ? Why haven’t THEY dams?
    Then THEY allow illegals —daily to drain the finances —because our ELECTED officials don’t give a damn and would rather get the VOTES.
    The water is there but from Jerry Brown on down THEY WANT THE $$ & VOTES ! Water ,water everywhere AND not enough for legal citizens!

  2. The Dems and EPA are ignoring/blocking the correct action here. Two dams are needed to be built in northern Cal to capture run off water from mountain snow/rainfalls, instead of running out to the ocean to preserve “endangered” species – no, not you! Again, politicians playing politics with our lives and our money!! They are not working to represent the people’s interests, but the left’s dreams of turning California and America into a third world nation, and part of the New World Order! Remember that when you vote next time!

  3. Pat O'connor says

    Time for a critical look for answers. One is open the delta water for irrigation, and tell the Sierra Club to take a swim.

  4. What a loss to the farmers and why haven’t they done anything about the Dams – should have been done 20 – 25 years ago and we wouldn’t have this mess!! Where do they think the fruit, vegetables, nuts and on and on.
    Do something NOW!! why wait again

  5. askeptic says

    Jerry told us 40-years ago if we didn’t build it, they wouldn’t come; and so we stopped building everything – except the PE unions.
    Now, with twice the population that was here for his first two terms, Jerry’s having a conniption fit that the people are noticing how he f*cked up, and he’s jumping into the deep end (which is safer because water levels are so low) imposing restrictions that he’d tried back in the Late-70’s, plus a few new ones. Of course, the things he won’t try are those that his Enviro-Nazi pals absolutely oppose: New dams/reservoirs for water storage, desalinization plants along the coast to provide potable water for population centers, diverting water being used to “save” the Delta Smelt (an invasive non-native species that normally would be erradicated) for the use of farms and people.
    These are all the things we should be doing, but won’t until CA is facing a New Dust Bowl in the Central Valley, and instead of being an exporter of food, we’ll be begging for foreign aid.

  6. Desalination is a viable option….there is a better option,build a pipeline!!!
    We have oil pipelines all over the country why not build a water pipeline from Oregon and/or Washington. Think of all the jobs it would create,and the environmentalists would be happy not destroying the beaches with desalination plants. But no our politicians would rather keep us under their thumbs and play political football with water much like they do with social security…but that’s another topic. They want to raise rates for using less water….that’s their plan,stealing more of our money for providing less services. Build a pipeline

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