$11.1 Billion Dollar Water Bond Pulled from November Ballot
Governor Schwarzenegger recalled “The Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010,” the $11.1 billion bond measure which would have provided the fuel for the 2009 water bills, which are still in effect, even without the bond.
Those four bills set up authorities to assess and govern water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; change the rules on water rights; monitor ground water; and monitor surface water use by upstream users. This last, SB 8, 2009, has already been felt by landowners in the Sierra Valley as they were informed of the need to report, and the fines applicable if they do not. The state claims it does this:
Provides a stronger accounting of water diversion and use in the Delta by removing an exemption from reporting water use by in-Delta water users. Redefines the types of diversions that are exempt from the reporting requirement. Assesses civil liability and monetary penalties on diverters who fail to submit the required reports, and for willful misstatements, and/or tampering with monitoring equipment.
Schwarzenegger and the legislature pulled the bond from the November 2010 ballot because it was clearly going to fail. The bond would have added about $800 million dollars a year debt service to our state debt.
Even without the current financial problems, the bond was probably not going to pass. It is opposed by a dazzling array
of groups from environmental groups to farm worker groups. It would benefit a handful of large corporations in agriculture and development, but fail the rest of us who would have to pay for it.
The Delta has the attention of the courts, in protecting the Delta Smelt, but the bigger issue is that broad development, including fields and towns, grew in the Delta on sod and peat and sand. Read an archived Prospect piece about the Delta HERE
It is, however, strongly supported by water suppliers and those who favor growth, since those communities down south need our water to continue to grow.
Which is one of the very good reasons why we shouldn’t give it to them. California has enough people, enough cities, more than enough factories and airports. Taking water from the North to continue the orgy of development south of us is poor economy. If you’re worried about the environment, halt growth in the cities.
The plan is to bring the bond back in 2 years, in 2012. Likely, though, it is dead, leaving the four water bills orphaned by then.
Read about the water plan HERE
They want our water!