Where water flows, food grows - or it should – but in California hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water go straight to the ocean in a wet year because Democrats have refused to prioritize the needed infrastructure for dry years. Initially, Governor Newsom only catered to his chardonnay and brie buddies this year by declaring a regional water emergency for only two wine counties in Northern California, leaving the state’s $30 billion agriculture industry high and dry.
Due to increased pressure from Senate Republicans to prioritize and include more drought-stricken counties, today the governor finally relented and added 39 more counties to that list. Fresno Republican Senator Andreas Borgeas has been leading the effort to include more counties within the drought declaration to relax regulatory restraints and allow for the transfer of water to food producers.
For decades, Democrat legislative leadership has failed to build the infrastructure needed to capture water in a wet year, so California has little water to spare. The situation is so dire, Senate Republicans want to ensure that any drought measures passed by the legislature either save water or increase the water supply.
“Californians should not be in a drought, but due to Democrats’ lack of investment in water storage and critical water infrastructure, we are. Senate Republicans appreciate the governor heeding our call for emergency drought relief, but this declaration does nothing to remove regulatory roadblocks that hold up shovel-ready water projects," said Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “Our farmers and residential users deserve a clean, reliable source of water.”
In a letter to Democratic leadership, Senate Republicans outlined several key solutions that will help California in the next 12 to 24 months, including investment in water infrastructure and lifting red tape that are holding up shovel-ready water projects.