From Water Deeply article - https://www.newsdeeply.com/water/executive-summaries/2017/05/05?
Until November, David Bernhardt worked as a lobbyist for Westlands Water District in California’s San Joaquin Valley, the largest irrigation district in the nation. Then he joined President Donald Trump’s transition team. And now he will officially join the administration as deputy Interior secretary, overseeing agencies like the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which provides water to Westlands, his former client.
Trump, who vowed to “drain the swamp” of lobbyist influence, has instead appointed many lobbyists to key posts. Bernhardt has long and influential connections to Westlands, helping the irrigation district in its decades-long fight to weaken environmental protections and secure more water for its farmers. Bernhardt and his law firm have been paid more than $1.2 million by Westlands for this work.
These efforts reached new heights at the end of 2016. Bernhardt also helped write amendments to a comprehensive water law carried by Sen. Dianne Feinstein that steers more water to Westlands. He was a major force behind another bill, HR 6366, that gives Westlands higher-priority access to water diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and forgives a $375 million debt Westlands owes the federal government.
His new position at Interior puts Bernhardt in a position to influence a controversial water tunnel project designed to send even more water to Westlands.
“Bernhardt is a walking conflict of interest,” U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat, told McClatchy News. “He should absolutely have to recuse himself from anything having to do with Westlands Water District.”