The head of major industry body Western Growers has applauded President Obama’s signing into law of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN), saying it will be of great benefit to the Golden State.
“Even though it has taken us a while to get to this point, we are pleased that Congress has finally passed, and the president has signed into law, legislation that provides a measure of drought relief to rural communities and urban residents throughout California,” president and CEO Tom Nassif said.
“Thanks to three years of hard work and dedication by Senator Feinstein, House Majority Leader McCarthy, and our champions in the House, including Congressmen Calvert, Costa, Denham, Nunes and Valadao, we can now begin bringing aid to the thousands of businesses and millions of lives that have been devastated by a combination of Mother Nature and broken policies governing California’s water system.”
He said Western Growers now urged all stakeholders to recognize that the language in this law is the product of bipartisan negotiations that provide temporary improvements to the operations of the Delta pumping plants while maintaining the integrity of the Endangered Species Act.
“With California’s winter rainy season already upon us, it critical that we not prevent the reasonable diversion of all available runoff to storage,” he said.
“Finally, we encourage Congress to continue working together – and with the new administration – during the next session to complete negotiations around longer-term, more permanent solutions to California’s water crisis.”
Earlier this month, representatives of some of California’s leading agricultural bodies highlighted a “litany of positives” legislation when it was introduced, hailing its “short term and long-term solutions to California’s needs”.