President Donald Trump is wading into California’s water wars, demanding speedy action by the federal government to divert much-needed water resources to Republican-leaning farmers in California’s central valley — a move sure to infuriate left-leaning environmentalists on the west coast.
Signing a presidential memorandum in Arizona this afternoon, the president set into motion a plan that’s expected to benefit farmers who have complained about water restrictions intended to protect endangered fish and other species.
“This is a vital action … to improve access to water in the American West,” President Trump said, signing the memorandum. “They’ve taken it away, they have so much water and they don’t know what to do with it and they send it out to sea.”
Republicans quickly responded, calling the decision a clear win for communities in the West.
Environmentalists argue that diverting water to farmers will decimate endangered Delta smelt and Chinook Salmon. The president’s action today will speed up the environmental review and approval process needed to create the infrastructure needed to divert the water.