Congressman Kevin McCarthy joined Congressman David Valadao (CA-21) and the entire California House GOP delegation on introducing the WATER for California Act, a bill that would require the federal Central Valley Project (CVP) and California State Water Project (SWP) to be operated consistent with the most recent science-based regulations finalized in 2019, as well as reauthorize a critical surface water storage program from the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act.

Congressman McCarthy released the following statement:

“The state of California is as notorious for drought as it is for water wars, and over the years, Democrats and environmental extremists have made matters worse by politicizing this life-giving resource. But the fact remains: in a state like California, access to reliable and affordable water is more pressing than ever. 

“In 2016, Congressman Valadao, my California Republican colleagues, Senator Feinstein, and I shepherded the first major reforms to California water policies into law in more than 20 years. These reforms have since expired, which is why I am glad to join Congressman Valadao in introducing the WATER for California Act.  

“This new bill builds on the success of the WIIN Act and the prior administration’s accomplishments related to California water by focusing on three main things. First, it helps ensure that when Mother Nature blesses our state with rain and snow, communities in the Central Valley get the water we contract and pay for. Next, it will help to improve California’s drought resiliency by prioritizing and funding critical water storage projects so we can capture more water during wet years for use in dry ones. And lastly, it brings much-needed accountability to finishing fish and habitat restoration projects required by law.

“I look forward to working with Congressman Valadao, my colleagues in the House and Senate, California public water agencies, and local stakeholders to advance the WATER for California Act into law.” 

The announcement was welcomed by local water officials.

“We appreciate the tireless efforts of Congressman McCarthy and his colleagues to work with numerous interested parties to fashion approaches that are achievable and provide the best possible opportunity to obtain a stable and adequate supply of water for Kern County and the entire state of California," said Tom McCarthy, general manager of the Kern County Water Agency