Water Policy Reform (H.R. 3964)

Approved by House of Representatives (02/05/2014) [Roll Call #50]
Reported to House - Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 472 (02/04/2014)
Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources (01/29/2014)

Historical Background
Since the construction of the federal Central Valley Project (CVP), California’s water needs have grown dramatically while supplies have stayed virtually steady. In the past few years, we have seen massive economic damage inflicted by the capricious curtailment of water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley communities. (more)

Bill Text
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act’’. (more)

Section-by-Section Explanation
Amends § 3402 of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act (CVPIA) (P.L. 102-575) by adding subsections (g) and (h) to include replacement of water dedicated to fish and wildlife purposes by the CVPIA by the year 2018 at a reasonably low cost and to facilitate and expedite water transfers as a purpose of the CVPIA. (more)
Legislative Summary
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act promotes water policies that facilitate the delivery of California’s abundant supply of water, as well as support the implementation of an economically feasible and environmentally sustainable river restoration on the San Joaquin River. This document provides a summary of the key provisions. (more)

Position of the Speaker of the House
Speaker Boehner Urges Senate to Pass H.R. 3964 (more

White House Position
White House Threatens Veto (02/05/2014) (more)
Distorted Water (Response to Opponents)
There have been a lot of excuses used to defend government-imposed water shortages. Many of the most troubling statements about our region have been posted on my YouTube Channel or are discussed in my blog. However, I prepared this document because it is important for us to understand the distortions used against reform and to respond to them with facts. (low resolution file)

  • Fox News report on Fresno water rally and field hearing (more)

  • Rep. Nunes remarks on H.R. 3964 on House floor (more)

Blog posts​​

  • The smelt strike again (more)

  • Tune in to KMJ580 Appleton show Monday 11 am (more

  • Educating the opposition (more)

  • House acts fast on California water bill (more)

  • A chance for more water fast (more)

  • New skirmish in the water wars (more)

  • Water crisis update (more)

  • Drought is declared: Governor states the obvious while politicians run victory laps (more)

  • Our water disaster (more)


  •  Letter to Senator Feinstein (more)

  •  2014 letter to Friant farmers (more)

  •  2008 letter to Friant farmers (more)

  • Interview with John Batchelor and Ray Appleton (March 20, 2014) (more)
  • Interview with John Batchelor (March 13, 2014) (more)
  • Interview with Ray Appleton (March 10, 2014) (more)
  • Interview with Chris Daniel (March 10, 2014) (more)

Press Releases
  • Central Valley Legislators Respond to Obama Visit (more)

  • Rep. Nunes Issues Statement on Senate Water Bill (more)

  • Water Bill Now Available for Senate Action (more)

  • House of Representatives Passes California Water Bill (more)

  • Emergency Water Legislation Scheduled for House Consideration (more)

  • California GOP Reps Unite on Water Bill (more)

  •  U.S. Senate Rejects South Valley Water Fix  (more)

  • California Water Reforms Presented at Farm Bill Conference Committee (more

  • Reps. McCarthy, Nunes, Valadao, Costa Urge Continued Provision of Rescheduled Water (more

  • Central Valley Legislators Developing Emergency Drought Legislation (more)

 Opinion Leaders


"The House will vote Wednesday on legislation that would provide California farmers modest relief from the state's nasty drought. Lo and behold, the same Governor Jerry Brown who requested help from Washington now wants Congress to hang farmers out to dry.

In a letter to the Natural Resources Committee, Governor Brown claims that the legislation, which is sponsored by all 15 Republican Members of California's delegation, "would override state laws and protections, and mandate that certain water interests come out ahead of others." The Governor's emergency declaration already waives state laws including the California Environmental Quality Act.

What the House legislation really does is prioritize the interest of farmers over fish and restore the Bay Delta Accord of 1994, which was intended to end California's water wars. The federal-state compact guaranteed farmers a reliable water supply while diverting up to 1.1 million acre-feet of water annually—enough to sustain 1.1 million families and nearly 300,000 acres of farmland—to wildlife in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta."
[read the full editorial here]

"California Gov. Jerry Brown has blasted as "unwelcome and divisive" a desperately needed drought-relief bill in Congress that will likely win in the House soon. That's rich coming from a man who's done nothing.

In case you haven't heard, the drought that has plagued California's southwest Central Valley, one of the great breadbaskets of the nation with $26 billion in production, is still going on.

Extended for three years now, the nation's prized fruits and vegetables — its vineyards, its almond, orange and peach groves, its vegetable fields — are all drier, dustier-than-ever wastelands. Driving along Highway 5 through the area, one sees lots of bitter signs posted by farmers denouncing the man-made drought from arbitrary water cutoffs from the north.

But as a united front of Republicans from the region presents the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act for a debate and vote Wednesday in Congress, there's the incredible spectacle of Brown and his allies sniping at the bill as "unwelcome and divisive" — showing that his devotion to pleasing environmental interests trumps his duty to the state's citizens."
[read the full editorial here]