1980 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 2609. The vote is on the Weaver amendment to require a review of the need for a $350 million desalting plant before the money could be spent. The Colorado river has become so salty by the time it reaches Mexico that it is hurting agriculture and violating treaty obligations. In 1974 Congress authorized construction of the world's largest desalting plant to treat water returning to the Colorado from one 65,000 acre irrigation district in Arizona. Costs have skyrocketed and this bill raised the authorization from $155 million to $350 million. Conservationists felt it was time to take a second look at the plant. The cost is paid by the taxpayers, not those responsible for the problem. Cheaper solutions have been rejected because their costs would fall partly on Colorado river water users who now pay nothing. The plant is like an expensive band-aid that does not deal with the real problem: the excessive diversion of water from the Colorado and the over-irrigation of crops. Much water is now wasted and evaporates in the hot sun, increasing the salt in the water that is left. Weaver rejected 83-286. February 7, 1980. YES is the correct vote.