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Readers React: California shouldn’t oppose water projects just because the Trump administration proposes them

Water flows from the gates of the Shasta Dam on Jan. 12, 2017.
Water flows from the gates of the Shasta Dam on Jan. 12, 2017.
(Greg Barnette / Associated Press)

To the editor: It’s not just the project to raise the Shasta Dam that California doesn’t want. California does not want any water project. (“California doesn’t want this towering water project. Trump administration may build it anyway,” March 15)

Year after year, California House Republicans and a few Democrats have been stymied as we have tried to take the long-term view on how to deal with droughts. The lack of planning and foresight to increase water supplies and storage as our population has grown is squarely on the shoulders of California policymakers.

More than two-thirds of California voters approved providing billions of dollars for water projects, yet the California Water Commission dithers on approving any. If the Trump administration is looking to help advance water infrastructure in California, including expanding the Shasta reservoir, our state should embrace it.

This type of bipartisanship was on display two years ago when Sen. Dianne Feinstein joined California House Republicans and Democrats in passing the most extensive federal water solution to benefit our state in decades. This legislation prioritized capturing more water in the rainy season and ensuring that more water surface storage, recycling and desalination projects were approved. It was signed into law by President Obama, and President Trump is trying to implement it now.

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By refusing to approve water bond projects and reflexively opposing anything this administration proposes, Sacramento and congressional Democrats are abdicating their responsibility to secure the best water future Californians deserve.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield)

The writer is the House majority leader.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

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