California Democrats in D.C. lobby state water board to delay Delta pumping cutback

Bee Washington BureauMarch 5, 2014 


Pete Lucero of the US Bureau of Reclamation walks past one of six pumps at the Tracy Pumping Plant on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 near Tracy, Calif. The pumps are used to raise water from the southern end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Delta-Mendota Canal system.


California's two Democratic senators, joined by two House Democrats, urged the State Water Resources Control Board on Wednesday to think twice, or maybe thrice, before issuing a proposed order that could cut Delta water pumping.

In a three-page letter, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer along with Reps. Jim Costa of Fresno and John Garamendi of Walnut Grove asked the water board to put off until at least March 21 the proposed "prioritizing" of statewide water deliveries.

Citing potentially "significant near- and long-term effects on the California economy," the lawmakers asked for the additional time to assess the potential water order in light of recent rainfall. The Democrats were responding to reports that the state board could order less pumping in an effort to build up reservoirs for the future.

"The potential of stopping all pumping out of the Delta for agriculture and refuges, except when there is high runoff flow, is of deep concern to water contractors both north and south of the Delta who have been hit by one piece of bad news after another," the lawmakers wrote.

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