California Legislature Dismantling Water Bond
September 11, 2013
Families Protecting the Valley:
Two Water Bonds: Both Bad
|A mid-August image of the San Luis Reservoir indicating a bad water year.|
There are two water bond proposals making their way through both chambers of California's legislature. And neither one is good for California agriculture or for domestic water for all Californian’s.
In the senate version authored by Democrat State Senator Lois Wolk of Davis, there is "$1.5 billion on safe drinking water projects, $1.8 billion on water quality and watershed projects, $1.3 billion on flood control and $1 billion for water system operations improvements such as groundwater storage and recycled water storage. Senate Bill 42 prohibits using bond money to build or do mitigations for a new water conveyance project." There is nothing in her proposal for Temperence Flat Dam or any other dam, and nothing for the twin tunnels.
The Assembly version, authored by Democrat Anthony Rendon of Lakewood, has released only a set of principles: One principle would prohibit earmarks to specific water projects, which would appear to bar the specific allocations for the two water storage projects that Republicans, backed by farm groups, had insistedon including in the 2009 version, as well as for some of the local projects that were placed in the bond for political purposes.
It was the early morning hours of Nov. 4, 2009, when the original comprehensive package was passed by the state Legislature. The bond’s goal was to overhaul California’s seriously ailing water system. The package included an $11 billion bond, with $3 billion set aside for new storage.
But the current legislature is dismantling it to suit their needs.
Hopefully, Governor Brown will see how useless the bond’s rewriting would be without a storage component for the heavy rain and snow years.
The bond, in whatever form it is in, is scheduled to go to voters in 2014.