Congressman Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, voted against H.R. 3964 on Wednesday, a bill that critics say would have devastating effects on the Delta region.
“California is facing a severe drought; we need common sense solutions that work to address our state’s long-term water infrastructure,” McNerney said in a press release Wednesday. “The families, farmers and small businesses in our region depend on a healthy Delta, and I will continue to fight for our community.”
McNerney offered an amendment that would prevent the bill from taking effect until the secretaries of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture determine that water quality for the Delta region agriculture would not be negatively affected.
“The farmers and growers of San Joaquin County’s nearly $3 billion agriculture industry rely on high quality water for their products,” he said. “As currently written, H.R. 3964 will increase shipments of water out of the Delta, further threatening the water quality for farmers and devastating the local economy.”
California’s current drought threatens the 81,000 farmers and ranchers throughout the state. The bill will take water from the Delta and distribute it to a small portion of the state, while not creating any new water in the Delta region.
“Shipping additional water out of the Delta will turn this vital natural resource into a salty, stagnant marsh at the cost of thousands of local jobs,” McNerney said. “We need to work on a bipartisan basis to address California’s water needs. This is not about just one portion of California. The entire state is being hard hit by water shortages, and it will take all parties working together to establish a long-term solution.”