Prop 1: $7.1 billion state water bond

Oct 27, 2014 8:34 PM by Charlene Cheng

The war over California's water is heating up over a $7.1 billion water bond on the November ballot.

Governor Jerry Brown is urging voters to approve it.

In Redding, a group of river and groundwater protection advocates held a news conference to publicly announce their opposition to Prop 1.

"We don't think it's good enough for the people of California. Especially if you're going to borrow two dollars for every one dollar you spend, you should make sure you're getting a good buy for your money," said Tom Stokeley with the California Water Impact Network.

The Butte Environmental Council contends that Prop 1 isn't the solution, and provides little money for protecting the water in the northern Sacramento Valley.

"We're over-allocated in California, five to one. Our natural water supply just does not meet the demands of the state, so we need to rein in our demands. This bond does not do this," Carol Perkins said.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board supports the measure, and says it's critical that California finds a better way to manage its water supply.

"Really what we need to do is take the next step, and take a look at the groundwater supply, which often times takes the out of sight, out of mind approach. However, drilling deeper and deeper wells can also cost millions of dollars, so it shouldn't be viewed as secondary to surface water," said Clint Snyder, Assistant Executive Officer with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

About one-third of the money in Prop 1 is allocated for water storage, including greater water storage at Shasta Dam, and the proposed site reservoir in Colusa County, but critics say that's just not a good investment of taxpayer dollars.

"As opposed to money for recycling, conservation, stormwater capture, which there is a nominal amount of money in there, but we don't believe there's enough. We think those kinds of things, recycling and conservation, will actually create more money and bang for the buck than the new storage will," Stokeley said.

So far, the Fair Political Practices Commission shows that supporters have raised more than $11 million, including a $5 million contribution from Governor Brown's campaign.

Opponents have raised a little more than $80,000.


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