From the Hearst Washington Bureau Below the Beltway blog, in a post by Carolyn Lochhead:
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s revised drought bill is coming under increasing attack from the left even as the California Democrat tries to woo Republicans to speed the bill’s passage through the Senate without committee consideration.”
“In separate, but overlapping lobbying trips that formally began Monday, officials from both Fresno and Tulare counties have been seeking support from elected lawmakers, all-important staff and Obama administration higher-ups. These are annual ventures that this year took on a different, wetter cast.”
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein is fast-tracking a bipartisan bill through the Senate that seeks to unravel decades of carefully crafted protections for the San Francisco Bay estuary in an effort to divert more water to Southern California farms and cities.”
“Seasonal storms have exposed once more some perennial political divisions over California water.
“Citing the latest rainfall, seven of the state’s lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to free up more irrigation deliveries for San Joaquin Valley farms. The muscular Capitol Hill lineup is noticeable both for who’s on it and who’s not.”
“The troubled Central Basin Municipal Water District violated the state’s open meeting laws when it created a $2.7-million fund in virtual secrecy, an investigation by the agency’s attorneys concluded.
“The fund, created for a groundwater storage project, was managed without public hearings or notifications, and records related to it were among those subpoenaed by federal prosecutors.”
“Sen. Barbara Boxer called for the West to set aside legal fights over water and take new approaches to adapt to drier times by moving more quickly to expand water recycling and adopt new water-saving technologies. …
“Boxer, the Rancho Mirage Democrat who leads the U.S.
“The third year of the California drought brings a reminder of just how fractured and messy democracy can be. There have been dozens of proposals — seven versions of a state water bond, for example — to improve the water situation and more are surely on the way.
“We’re wondering if the politicians are even keeping track of all that has been proposed.”
From The Salinas Californian, in a commentary by Dennis Taylor:
“While farmers in the Salinas Valley are increasingly worried about future irrigation water, the federal Bureau of Reclamation told farmers in the Central Valley on Friday that they will have a zero allocation of water from the Central Valley Water Project.
“Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats in Sacramento are introducing water bills that often serve only to counter the other party’s water bills.