News

Trump Administration Clears Way for Added Water Supply for Agriculture


Western ag interests got a presidential boost last week after Trump issued a memorandum aimed at funneling more water to farmers in California’s thirsty Central Valley. Also benefiting are several of the House Republicans running in competitive re-election races in the region, where water supply is a top campaign issue.

The politics: Vulnerable GOP incumbents now have an ag policy win they can tout in their farm-heavy districts. Jeff Denham, David Valadao and other California Republicans joined Trump for the memo signing Friday in Arizona. POLITICO rates Denham’s race as a toss-up and Valadao’s as leaning Republican.

Denham, a House Ag Committee member, said in a statement that bolstering the Valley’s water supply was his “number one priority.” Trump said the move “will move things along at a record clip.”

The policy: The memo sets an accelerated timeline for reviewing the environmental impact of dams and canals that pump water to California farmlands and cities, Pro Energy’s Annie Snider reported Friday.

Initial biological opinions related to California’s Central Valley Project will be due by Jan. 31, with a final joint opinion due 135 days later – a much swifter schedule than parties on the ground had expected.

Agriculture groups like the California Farm Water Coalition, Western Growers Association and California Farm Bureau Federation cheered the move as relief from burdensome water supply rules. Environmentalists and the state itself could still try to thwart the federal changes.

Beyond California: The directive takes aim at efforts to alter or remove hydropower dams along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in Washington state, which produce about half of all U.S. hydropower. It also speeds up the timeline for federal agencies to complete environmental reviews for water projects in Oregon’s Klamath River basin.

Source: AgriMarketing

ProAg Quick Links

Agent Toolbox Grower Toolbox Careers

ProAg News

Corn Prices Heating Up

Despite the USDA raising 2018-19 marketing year ending stocks for corn in last Thursday’s WASDE report, corn prices moved higher to end the week. December corn futures prices returned to the levels seen before the surprising June Acreage report....

More Resilient Flood Control

In the wake of flooding that has inundated the Midwest, people offer different perspectives calling for more investment in flood control infrastructure as recovery begins along the Missouri River and in much of the Mississippi River watershed....

Why MFP 2019 Will Be A Disappointment For Some

The flow of meaningful information from USDA leadership about MFP 2019 payments has remained painfully slow. While there is no way of knowing the exact county-level payment rates, this week's post considers the big-picture impacts of how a 2019 MFP program might roll-out....
Get ProAg updates via email
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×