Potential $11.1 billion water bond

California’s future depends on water, enough to sustain a vast agricultural industry along with a population of almost 38 million people. Aging infrastructure designed 50 years ago for a much smaller population, combined with the ongoing drought, make water the most pressing issue facing California. 

A bond proposal addressing our water supply needs passed the Legislature in 2009, subject to voter approval. However, the vote was delayed due to the state’s shaky finances and the project’s high costs. Now scheduled for a vote this November, the $11.1 billion bond has generated fierce debate and a growing list of alternative proposals.  

Throughout these discussions, I have stressed the need for more water storage facilities to serve the large agricultural industry in northern San Diego and southwest Riverside counties. Water storage north of the Tehachapi Mountains will do little to help our local farmers. Unfortunately, in the minds of many northern legislators, Los Angeles and Disneyland are all there is to Southern California. They simply refuse to understand why we need more water storage this far south.

The Governor insists he will not support any water bond in excess of $6 billion. Consequently, current bond proposals that would allocate up to $3 billion for storage are likely to be pared back. With negotiations now stalled, a special legislative session later this month is likely. However, if no agreement is reached, the original $11.1 billion bond proposal will be submitted to voters in November.

As is frequently the case in California, the people will have the final say.

6 Responses to "Potential $11.1 billion water bond"

  1. CK   July 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    The reservoirs are empty. At this point, we have plenty of space to store water. How can water be saved and stored for future dry years when ag keeps planting thousands of new permanent crops that need water year round in areas that used to support only annual crops when the water was available. The good dam sites (and even some not so good dam sites) were taken long ago. The game changer is the shifting to permanent crops and doubling the population. While the state could get through a 7 year drought in the 70’s, with double the population and no increase in reservoir capacity we are now having trouble getting through a 3 year drought. During the last rainy season, reservoirs were running full and water was dumped to the sea, for delta smelt bait fish. That could have been saved in "new" reservoirs for our current drought. Instead of throwing money at bullet trains.

  2. Bill Collins   July 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Who’s going to pay back the $20 billion for the water bond (principal and interest)? We taxpayers, not the corporate agribusinesses who get the water!

    We’re still paying off prior bonds, this is another one that’ll either raise taxes or compete for funding with education, public safety and other priorities, or both.
    Notice that the Assemblywoman didn’t talk about the funding.

  3. greed kills   July 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    there is nothing wrong with the states water infrastructure
    still functions well
    There are large amounts of water in natural Aquifers
    that can simply be used with wells
    Its Politicians that get in the way saying we are out of water when we are NOT so the price of water can rise. Government/MWD are in bed together
    and thats why Temecula is allowing Wild Rivers to WASTE A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF WATER and build on CITY OWNED LAND.

  4. DR DR   July 14, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Take the bond money and build desalination – we spent billions on new energy resources, why not water resources> Last time I checked, we had an ocean 13 miles west of us.

    Hey Gov Brown – why don’t you do something to HELP Californians, besides approve illegal immigration and gay marriage.

  5. BonsallGayGuy   July 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Regarding #4. Or conversely, perhaps those politicians who spend their time opposing the civil rights of gay men and women might like to instead devote a little more time to the legitimate infrastructure needs of this state.

  6. Omen   July 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Are we missing something here 53.4 % of the middle east has desalination plants 17% In North America 10% Europe, Asia 10% Africa 6.2 % and the rest in central America I think its time to invest In Low Income Countries 82% of water is used for Agricultural use 8% Domestic And 10% Industrial In High Income Countries 30% Agg. 11% Domestic And 59% Industry Dumping water out to Sea because of BAIT FISH. and the small water districts are the ones that suffer as do the end users punished fined for wasting water they say Tier 3 and 4 wow


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.