Sep 13 2006
“I am hopeful that today’s settlement will help ensure that the San Joaquin will once again become a living river and the hard-working men and women in the Friant Water District who grow much of our nation’s fruits and vegetables will continue to have a stable water supply.
The settlement negotiations were convened a year ago after House Water and Power Subcommittee Chairman Radanovich and I urged the parties to put aside their differences and develop a framework to restore the river in a manner that would provide water supply certainty to the Friant farmers who depend on San Joaquin River water. I believe the parties involved in these negotiations came up with a workable solution.
Water is one of the most precious of California’s resources and the only way we can continue to prosper as a State is to work for solutions that improve our water supply, restore our environment and our water quality, and protect us from floods.
I cannot overemphasize how important I believe it is for the San Joaquin Valley to sweep away the cloud of litigation uncertainty hanging over the Valley. If the litigation were to continue, it would be all too easy for 18 years of courtroom battling to become 28.
While the litigation lasts, water planning to benefit either the farmers or the fisheries of the Central Valley has been on hold and numerous initiatives to benefit the Valley that have been defeated because of the fear that it would benefit one party or the other to the litigation.
here are third party concerns that still need to be addressed in the implementing legislation for the settlement. I look forward to sitting down with all affected interests, and working with Senator Boxer, Chairman Pombo, Congressman Radanovich and other members of the California delegation to get these matters expeditiously resolved, and to get the implementing legislation speedily enacted.”