California farmers win big in water battle

WASHINGTON — The California water bill now ready for the president’s signature significantly shifts 25 years of federal policy and culminates a long and fractious campaign that began in the drought-stricken San Joaquin Valley. About five years in the making, the $558 million bill approved by the Senate early Saturday morning would steer more water to farmers, eases dam construction, and funds desalination and recycling projects. “I believe these provisions are both necessary, and will help our state,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Feinstein and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and their staffs, wrote the final water package, which the Senate approved 78-21. They also decoded to fold it into a widely popular infrastructure bill, which eased Senate passage. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., objected.

“I think it is absolutely a horrible process, a horrible rider,” Boxer said during floor debate Friday. “It’s going to result in pain and suffering among our fishing families.”

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