Solano County

Garamendi, McClintock battle over federal water measure

By From page A5 | February 07, 2014

FAIRFIELD — The California Constitution is usurped and the state loses control of its water in an emergency water delivery measure, Rep. John Garamendi says – while bill sponsor Rep. Tom McClintock says his legislation protects state water rights and that it’s time to reject the voices of the environmental left that have been listened to for 40 years.

“In California, the Democrats have not only obstructed the construction of new dams for the past 35 years,” said McClintock, R-Elk Grove, “they’ve also actively sought to tear down existing dams.”

Return to proven policies of abundance that produced the prosperity we once enjoyed, he said.

Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, said the congressional bill is an extreme measure and a water theft “wrapped up in a lot of nice words.”

In Congress, on Facebook and during broadcasts, Garamendi, who represents the 3rd Congressional District that includes Solano County, and McClintock, who represents the 4th Congressional District that includes El Dorado and Placer counties, battled over what to do about California’s drought.

McClintock called the state’s drought “nature’s fault” but said the failure to prepare for it is “our fault.”

His legislation, he said during a Capital Public Radio broadcast from Sacramento, is no threat to the California Constitution or the state’s control of its water. The Northern California Water Association, which represents water agencies, supports the measure that restores the Bay-Delta accords of the 1990s, said McClintock. The agreements promised allocations including 800,000 acre-feet of water to the Delta, he said.

An acre-foot is 325,851 gallons, or the amount of water needed to cover one acre with water a foot deep. It’s enough water to serve two California families for a year, according to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

McClintock’s bill also increases water storage capacity. He said 1.6 million acre-feet of water has been taken from Central Valley farmers to protect Delta smelt and that the water was dumped into the Pacific Ocean. The only water his measure would send south are such supplies, McClintock said.

Garamendi said the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act will die in the Senate and that the bill delivers water to the Westlands Water District in Fresno but fails to fund storage projects.

“We’re going to need money,” he said – otherwise it’s just a bunch of happy talk.

Garamendi called the legislation, House Resolution 3964, which passed by a vote of 229-191, a “California water grab bill” that would cause massive economic upheaval.

“We should do everything we can to avoid a water war,” he said.

McClintock said talk of a water grab is unwarranted.

“The hyperbole and outright disinformation is absolutely astonishing,” the congressman said.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 2 comments

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  • The MisterFebruary 07, 2014 - 7:27 am

    I'd like to see them battle in a cage match!! MMA McClintock vs. Goin' Down Garamendi... get your tickets now!!!

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  • phoenixlakeFebruary 27, 2014 - 6:09 pm

    Tom McClintock is an outspoken critic of Global Warming. Tom is a Climate Denier Unicorn Award winner and everything he says he knows about is not founded on Science. Tom has no information worth listening to, he is just a TeaParty blusterous blowhard trying to get attention. Tom has no clue about how to work to solve problems and is very good at making problems and stopping our government. Tom was instrumental in stopping the entire USA during the Tea Party Shutdown. Tom McClintock is not good for California or The United States of America and needs to be voted out of Washington D.C. as soon as possible. Mr Garamendi is a farmer that has generations of roots in California. I have 100% belief that Mr.Garamendi will always put California First. McClintock always puts lobbyists and corporations First and he is from New York, go back to New York Tom McClintock.

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