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President Trump Brings Water to California

Feb. 19, 2020 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump’s visit today to the Central Valley of California, part of a three-day excursion to Nevada and California this week, is both a victory tour and a series of campaign events. He is speaking in Bakersfield today, mainly to farmers, and joining with members of Congress to review what the administration has already accomplished in improving the supply and delivery of water to farmers and others, and what more is to be done.

Trump visited Bakersfield during his campaign in 2016, and at the time promised that he would ensure that the farmers got the water they needed. California, at the time, was in the midst of the worst drought in its recorded history, and farmers were battling the state government and environmentalists for water. A three-inch bait fish, the Delta smelt, had headlines then, as water was sent out to San Francisco Bay rather than to the aqueducts and on to the farms and homes to the south.

The White House said that the President will “speak with hardworking farmers in the Central Valley about efforts to dramatically improve the supply and delivery of water in California and other Western states.”

The President is also expected to ceremoniously sign his administration’s reworking of environmental rules involving the pumping of Delta water.

Joining the President will be Congressman Kevin McCarthy to speak with farmers, just as the state may be in the first months of a new drought. With little precipitation in January and virtually none thus far in February, there remains but another six weeks of the normal rainy season to make up for this very dry winter. The press is filled with articles, asking if the state is now entering a new drought. That may be and we shall see in the next two months.

But there is no question that this administration is determined to streamline and accelerate both the approval of projects and regulations, and has done so with regard to the flow of water to the Delta and the pumps that send water south.

In 2014, two years before Trump was elected, California voters approved a ballot issue that provided for more than $3 billion to build new water infrastructure. Today, six years later, not one penny of that money has been allocated for such projects. The President has repeatedly challenged state leaders to get to work to ensure adequate water supplies are there for the nation’s most productive agricultural land; land that provides more than half of the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts. Perhaps the state’s leaders should learn a lesson from the President on how to streamline needed projects to get them done.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget proposal will fund multiple Sacramento District projects with several hundred million dollars in his plan for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works program. This is in addition to the more than $1 billion he provided in 2018.

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