FRESNO, Calif. (KMJ?FOX26) — A U.S. Representative from the Central Valley is trying to take action on the area’s water crisis.
U.S. Congresswoman Connie Conway represents California’s 22nd District, including Tulare and Fresno Counties. She sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, asking for a field visit to the Central Valley to discuss water issues.
“We’re on fire, we’re having a drought. It’s just really timely that we do something about it,” said Congresswoman Conway.
The Congresswoman is hoping that when the Natural Resources Committee has a hearing in September to discuss offshore wind in the Central Valley, that they’ll also host a discussion on water.
“Over the last year, you have traveled the country to conduct field visits and hearings, and I applaud your effort to visit critical areas of need. As you are likely aware, the Central Valley of California, my home, has been plagued by drought that has caused persistent, severe water shortages for our families and farmers,” said Conway in her letter.
“I want the folks back there to understand – to not just hear me talk about it and all the other people that talk about it – to see it, to experience it, but also to hear from water management districts, water professionals, as I said, cities, counties, farm workers,” she explained to FOX26.
The Congresswoman calls the water crisis a national security issue.
“We grow a wide variety of crops that are shipped worldwide. If we aren’t able to do that, how do we feed people? How will the world do without our food? Yes, other nations grow, but not like we do.”
Rep. Conway also just introduced an amendment to legislation congress was considering. It adds $250 million in grants over a five-year period to help small water districts.
“There’s several of them here in Tulare County. I know they’re up and down the Valley. Some of their plumbing, it’s from the 1930s. Some of these water districts were formed with a farmer’s well that was granted when they started their little communities. So it would go a long way and be helpful,” Conway told FOX26.
The Congresswoman says she, along with congressmen David Valadao and Kevin McCarthy, have more legislation involving water in the works, too.
They hope to have an announcement sometime next week.