California Voters to Consider $7.5 Billion Water Bond
"With just a few hours to go before a midnight deadline to put a new state water bond on the November ballot, lawmakers Wednesday approved a $7.5 billion package that includes money for California's first new state-funded dams and reservoirs in more than 30 years," reports Jessica Calefati.
The always-controversial balance between the construction of surface storage capacity, watershed restoration, and groundwater storage will break down like so, if the bond is approved by voters:
- "More than a third of the bond -- $2.7 billion -- is dedicated to construction of dams, reservoirs and other water storage solutions."
- "Projects to protect and restore rivers, lakes and watersheds will get $1.5 billion, or close to 20 percent of the package. The bond will also allocate $900 million to groundwater cleanup and sustainability."
- $810 million to drought preparedness
- $725 million for water recycling
- $520 million to cleanse some small communities' drinking water supply
- $395 million for flood management
One of the main political challenges to getting the bond on the ballot was determining whether the package was sufficiently "tunnel neutral"—referring to the controversial proposal for a peripheral canal to be built near the San Francisco Bay Delta.