Valadao Introduces Drainage Bill
Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, introduced H.R. 4366, the San Luis Drainage Resolution Act that will authorize a settlement of a long-standing dispute between the United States and the Westlands Water District concerning the management of drainage water within Westlands’ service area in the San Luis Unit of the Central Valley Project (CVP).
Under the legislation, the US will be relieved of potential liability of $3.5 billion for the statutory obligation to manage drainage water. The bill includes concessions made by both the Federal Government and Westlands Water District to resolve the dispute. Westlands will dismiss its drainage related claims against the US and indemnify the US for any damages for landowner claims arising out of pending takings litigation against the federal government. According to the US Bureau of Reclamation, the potential liability of the US for these claims could exceed more than #2 billion. It will require Westlands to permanently retire 100,000 acres of land within its boundaries and cap its contract deliveries by CVP at 75%.