Feinstein discusses CA Water Bill at ACWA DC Conference

Feinstein introduced her bill – dubbed the California Long-Term Provisions for Water Supply and Short-Term Provisions for Emergency Drought Relief Act – on Feb. 10.

SOURCE: Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

CALIFORNIA, Feb. 26, 2016 -- Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) spoke at ACWA’s Washington, D.C. conference and provided an overview of her newly introduced bill that is intended to address California’s short-term drought as well as its long-term water supply problems.

Speaking at a joint breakfast program of ACWA and the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), Feinstein walked attendees through elements of her bill and asked for support and help to move it through Congress. She also discussed how even with an El Niño winter, California has not been able to pump, move and store water to meet its needs. She added that she believes her bill will effectively address some of California’s water problems.

"We looked for a sweet spot through 26 drafts,” Feinstein said of her staff’s efforts in putting together the bill. “It is amazing how difficult this issue is."

She also stressed how the state is in a unique moment in time to pass such legislation.

"This is our opportunity that will likely never have again," she said.

Later in the morning, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez addressed the group.

Feinstein introduced her bill – dubbed the California Long-Term Provisions for Water Supply and Short-Term Provisions for Emergency Drought Relief Act – on Feb. 10. Following its release, she said in a press release that crafting the bill was the “hardest bill I’ve worked on in my 23 years in the Senate.”

“But it’s important, and that’s why we’ve been working so hard, holding dozens and dozens of meetings and revising the bill over and over again to incorporate feedback from stakeholder groups,” Feinstein added in the release.

“The revised bill I’m introducing today is the product of two years of work. It includes provisions from Democrats and Republicans alike. It reflects input from environmental groups, water districts, state agencies, cities, rural communities, fishermen, and the agricultural industry,” she added. “There was also an extensive consultation process with federal agencies, all of which agree that the bill remains consistent with the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the biological opinions. This has been an open process, and I believe this bill is the best we can do.”

ACWA’s annual DC conference, which kicked off Tuesday evening with a reception, features addresses by a broad spectrum of California congressional representatives. Scheduled speakers include: Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) , Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Rep. Jerry McNerney, (D-CA), and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA).

On Thursday, Doug Crandall, director of legislative affairs for the U.S. Forest Service, is scheduled to deliver a breakfast address on prospects for wildfire legislation.

About ACWA
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) is the largest statewide coalition of public water agencies in the country. Its 430 public agency members collectively are responsible for 90% of the water delivered to cities, farms and businesses in California.

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