Rep. Cook Votes To Improve Water Infrastructure
WASHINGTON – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted for HR 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act (GROW). The bill passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives. Rep. Cook was an original co-sponsor of this legislation.
The GROW Act modernizes water policies throughout the western United States and promotes improved water reliability in California. The bill expands water storage, develops water infrastructure, protects privately held water rights, and creates more abundant and reliable water resources to benefit both our communities and the environment. It also gives federal agencies the tools they need to help safeguard communities from the effects of future droughts.
Specifically, the bill expands water storage by requiring the federal government to expedite and complete consideration of feasibility studies for water storage projects, some of which have been entangled in bureaucratic red tape for more than ten years. It improves water infrastructure by streamlining the often burdensome permitting process and protects water rights by prohibiting past abuses of government agencies that required private entities to relinquish their water rights to the federal government.
Rep. Cook said, “Water is a scarce resource, especially here in California. Our last drought has had devastating impacts on many of our communities. This bill will bring about much needed reform to ensure long term water planning and infrastructure needs are met so we are better prepared when droughts strike us in the future.”
A member of the House Foreign Affairs, Armed Services, and Natural Resources Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.