WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water (GROW) Act, bipartisan legislation that he cosponsored aimed at modernizing water policies in California and throughout the entire Western United States:
“California continues to be a dominant force in American agriculture. Californian farmers produce more than 400 commodities that represent over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts. This is an incredibly important industry, not only to Californians, but to every American family that puts food on their dinner table at night.
“For numerous years, California has been experiencing a drought of epic proportions. As a result, thousands of jobs disappeared, hundreds of thousands of acres of farm land had to be left idle, and billions of dollars were lost. And while we’ve been blessed with normal levels of rainfall across much of the State this year, one year’s worth of rain does not represent a permanent fix to California’s water needs. Proactive solutions are necessary to build on the reforms enacted at the end of last year in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act.
“The GROW Act does just that. This commonsense bill provides additional relief to California families, farmers, and communities by restoring water deliveries and requires regulators to actually comply with the Bay-Delta Accord. H.R. 23 will also clear the path forward for much needed water storage projects that have been unnecessarily impeded by bureaucratic red tape. These reforms will help in the short term, but, perhaps more importantly, will ensure the entire Western United States is more prepared during future droughts.”