Passage of the water bond, Proposition 1, in Tuesday’s election confirms that Californians are ready and willing to invest in water projects for their future needs, according to California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger. Farm Bureau supported the bond, which will invest $7.5 billion in storage and other projects to enhance and protect the state’s water supply for people, food production and the environment.
“It’s extremely gratifying to see the bond pass,” Wenger said. “At a time of extreme drought, Californians came together to support investment in our water system, which has suffered from neglect through 30 years of population growth and redirected priorities.”
Passage of the bond, Wenger said, marked the end of years of work and negotiation, “and marks the start of more years of work and negotiation, to make sure we fulfill the directive voters have made to invest in California’s future.”
New water storage projects that will be partially funded by the bond, he said, will help California withstand future droughts, reduce the threat of flooding in wet years and provide needed flexibility in managing the current water system.
“Farm Bureau will be diligent in making sure the water storage money in the bond goes toward projects that provide the most benefit in enhancing both aboveground and underground water supplies,” Wenger said.
The bond will also make investments in a variety of other water-related initiatives. Wenger said solving California’s water problems will require an “all-of-the-above approach,” involving storage, recycling, desalination and continued improvements in water efficiency.
“We look forward to working with Governor Brown and the Legislature to turn the promise of Proposition 1 into the reality of an improved water system that helps meet the long-term needs of our cities, farms and environment,” Wenger said. “The bipartisan action by the Legislature to put the bond on the ballot and the directive from voters in passing Proposition 1 should be a clear signal to Congress that it needs to move quickly to address federal impediments to better management of our vital water resources.”
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 78,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.