FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 14, 2014
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In case you missed it…
KPCC Southern California Public Radio and The Center for Responsive Politics
The politics of drought: California water interest prime the pump in Washington
Kitty Felde and Viveca Novak April 10, 2014
Last year, as California endured one of its driest years on record, the Westlands Water District made it rain 3,000 miles away — on Capitol Hill.
The nation’s largest agricultural water district, located in the Central Valley, spent $600,000 on lobbying efforts, according to an analysis by KPCC in partnership with the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. That’s by far Westlands’ biggest annual expenditure for lobbying — about six times what it spent in 2010.
The lobbying comes as Congress and federal agencies consider how to respond to three years of drought conditions that have cut water supplies across the state and ratcheted up political pressure from the hard-hit agricultural sector, including many of Westlands’ customers.
California farmers grow nearly half the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts. The California Farm Water Coalition, an industry group, estimates farmers — and the processors and truckers who get crops to market — could lose $5 billion this year due to the drought.
How important is this issue? Well, in recent months it’s brought the President, the House Speaker and the powerful House Natural Resources Committee to the Central Valley. …
To read or listen to the full story, click here: http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/04/10/43402/the-politics-of-drought-california-water-interests/