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Congressional hearing on Valley water begins at 10 a.m.

A congressional hearing on the federal response to the California drought is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today at Fresno City Hall.

At least 14 people are scheduled to testify. Topics will likely include calls for a water bond and for building a new reservoir.

Today's meeting is of the House Water and Power Subcommittee of the Resources Committee. Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, is chairwoman of the subcommittee.

Witnesses are scheduled in three panels:

Panel 1: Fresno County Supervisor Phil Larson; Mendota Mayor Robert Silva; Miguel Arias of the Drought Relief Strategies Group of Fresno (accompanied by farm worker Carlos Ramirez); and farmers Stewart Woolf and Kole Upton.

Panel 2: Dan Nelson, executive director of the San Luis-Delta Mendota Water Authority; Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands Water District; Ron Jacobsma, general manager of Friant Water Authority; and Philip Duffy of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Panel 3: Don Glaser, regional director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (accompanied by Claudia C. Faunt, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey); John Smythe, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency state executive director (accompanied by Jim Otto, a senior risk management specialist for the USDA); and Lester Snow, director of the California Department of Water Resources.

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