Western Growers has endorsed a water bond initiative likely to appear on the November 2018 California ballot. The measure would invest $8.877 billion in water infrastructure and programs throughout the state. Following a board discussion and vote on the matter, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:
“The Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 would provide funds to address a host of California’s critical water priorities, including safe drinking water, wastewater recycling, watershed restoration and fish and wildlife habitat conservation.”
Among other provisions, the bond would help restore the capacity of the Friant-Kern Canal, a vital component of the state’s infrastructure that conveys water to 1.3 million acres between Bakersfield to Fresno. The initiative would also provide funds to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and speed the implementation of safe drinking water actions in areas affected by chronic well contamination problems.
“All Californians would benefit from this water bond as the health of our watersheds, wildlife habitats and rural and urban communities all depend on the smart management of our water resources and appropriate levels of funding for improvements to our infrastructure,” Nassif continued. “Furthermore, this water bond would provide tremendous benefits to farmers in every region of the state. These investments would go a long way in helping California protect its farm economy.”
Signatures are being submitted to qualify the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 for the November ballot.