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Rep. Calvert and Fellow California Republicans Request Water State of Emergency

California Aqueduct from Interstate 5 in Stanislaus County, California.
Ken Lund
Flickr Creative Commons
California Aqueduct from Interstate 5 in Stanislaus County, California.

A letter sent to President Biden and Governor Newsom last week requested a water state of emergency be declared on a state and federal level.

The letter was signed by Corona Congressman Ken Calvert and nine other republican representatives, including Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes.

"It's basically common sense, when we have a drought like we've been having and when you get a significant storm which we had, we need to pump it. So, when it's there, you got water coming down the Delta; any environmental damage is virtually non-existent," said Calvert.

Calvert is referring to the California Delta in Northern California, which supplies much of Central and Southern California's water supply by way of pumps and canals through the Central Valley.

Calvert and the other representatives are requesting that the state waiver environmental impact reports in process so that they can pump water from the Delta for when the next big storm occurs.

Calvert added, "And we want to make sure that we're on record that we want to make sure that that water is pumped to these farmers and families throughout California that are staving for additional water."

Gracie Torres is on the Board of Directors with the Western Municipal Water Districtand expressed concerns over the pumping request. She said, "The Deltas actually a very precious waterway that we have, if we deplete too much, it just wouldn't just be the smelt, that there would be huge environmental risks, especially for the north that could harm their water supply in the future."

She added that Southern California is at a good point in terms of current water storage. "In Southern California that's an opposing message to where we are, we're actually doing well with our reserves and what we've been saving. So the drought hasn't hit Southern California to a point at where we need to force something like this."

According to datafrom the state and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, all reservoirs are at least 72% full besides Castaic Lake. President Biden and Governor Newsom have not released a response to the letter.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.