Press Releases

Knight Implores President To Send Water South

Congressman Renews Efforts To Take Advantage Of Final El Nino Storms

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Washington, D.C., March 24, 2016 | Dan Outlaw (202-225-1956) | comments

Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) signed a letter sent to President Obama urging him to immediately increase water exports to Southern California from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. 

The letter, written by Representative Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), states that two federal agencies failed to take advantage of the El Nino rains by impeding the Department of Reclamation’s ability to export much-needed water south of the Delta. In fact, despite a relatively high amount of rainfall in 2016, there has not been a substantial increase in the amount of usable water made available to residents of Central and Southern California from last year, which was one of the hottest and driest years on record. The letter goes on to request that the President direct federal agencies to send water south before El Nino rains cease this summer.
“While we need collaboration among different levels of government, we more urgently need specific leadership from our Chief Executive,” the letter states. “That specific leadership is simple: a clear message to the relevant federal agencies to increase – not decrease – pumping over and above -5,000 cfs to take full advantage of these recent storms—perhaps the last of the season.” 
Rep. Knight stated previously that finding solutions to California’s drought is one of his top priorities in Congress. Last summer he cosponsored a bill that would set up a streamlined process for increased pumping, capture, and storage in the state, and he has joined his fellow representatives from California on numerous letters urging state and federal officials to take steps to improve water supply. Most recently, he introduced a bill that would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to fund new water supply programs associated with communities impacted by perchlorate contamination plumes, like the Santa Clarita Valley, in order to restore lost local groundwater supply and decrease dependence on imported water supplies. 

“Congress must pass legislation that will deliver relief to our drought-stricken state, and I will keep fighting to make sure that happens,” said Rep. Knight. “In the meantime, we must take advantage of the rains from El Nino to send water to homes and businesses in Southern California.”  

Rep. Knight was joined in signing the letter by twelve other California Representatives. The letter was sent to President on Thursday morning. A full copy off the letter can be found on Rep. Knight’s website.

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