Water Infrastructure Questions Linger in California

Prop. 18, the financial centerpiece of legislation meant to overhaul California's aging water supply infrastructure, was removed from the statewide ballot slated for November.

The article features in-depth Q&A with Tim Brick, chair of the Board of Commissioners for the Metropolitan Water District:

"It was the first time in many decades that a bipartisan consensus was achieved in Sacramento, and the only reason that occurred is because there was a lot of groundwork done throughout the state to demonstrate the importance of coming together for solutions for the future of California. We were very pleased with the approved legislative package. We are anxious to move ahead with the bond issue, but the financial situation got in the way of that. "

"Metropolitan has played a role in the past with regard to a variety of subsidies for the development of innovative conservation programs. We provide a $250-an-acre-foot subsidy for innovative new technology. That has led to products, such as the water broom and spray nozzles for dishwashers, and processes for recycling water, x-ray technology, and things like that, which have been beneficial. But there is a lot more that can be done in terms of investment into technology."

"We are ready to pay for the facilities that will improve the water reliability in the Bay Delta ecosystem. You are correct that the major infrastructure improvement in the Bay Delta system was not included in the bond issue itself. The optimal approach is being developed through the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. We expect that by mid-2011 we are going to see some clarity in terms of solutions. We believe it will be some sort of facility-either a canal or an aqueduct that skirts the eastern part of the Delta or a tunnel that goes underneath the Delta. We expect that the facility will cost somewhere in the range of $10-$12 billion, and we are ready to pay our share."

Thanks to James Brasuell

Full Story: Prop. 18 Water Bond Another Victim of State Financial Crisis

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