Washington, DC – Representatives Jim Costa (CA-16) and David G. Valadao (CA-21) announced their support for the settlement agreement reached by the United States Department of Justice and Westlands Water District on the San Luis Drainage Litigation.
“I am pleased that a settlement agreement has been reached because now, there is finally an end to years of frustration that began when the U.S. government determined it was not going to complete drainage service to the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project,” said Rep. Costa. “When water was brought to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, it was always understood that a long-term drainage solution would be necessary for the sustainable production of these fertile lands. The court, in its decision, acknowledged that the federal government had abrogated its responsibilities when the federal government determined that it would no longer pursue the completion of the drain. This agreement is a reasonable compromise considering the financial obligation that now faces the U.S. taxpayer. I support the final agreement and will do everything possible, working on a bipartisan basis, to ensure that enabling legislation is passed so that the President can sign a bill that protects the American taxpayer from this $3.5 billion fiscal burden.”
“This deal is the result of years of negotiations and compromise,” said Rep. Valadao.“While this agreement is not perfect, it has the potential to save billions in taxpayer dollars and resolve this issue in a responsible manner. I look forward to reviewing the settlement in the coming days and working with all Members of the California Delegation and the President to ensure this agreement makes its way through the legislative process.”
The settlement agreement reached between the United States and Westlands Water District resolves decades long of legal uncertainty surrounding the responsibility for providing drainage to lands that have been damaged on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.