There are dozens of project proposals that look to secure some of the Prop 1 water bond funding. Those proposals add up to almost 20 times the amount of funding available which means a lot of projects just won’t happen.
California Farm water Coalition Executive Director Mike Wade says many of the projects looking for Prop 1 money won’t succeed. “There are $20 billion in projects that have been proposed and half of that would have to cover the public benefit side,” Wade says. “There is $2.7 billion in the bond for that so a lot of the projects that have been requested won’t get funded. These are just project proposals, the final project applications are going to be coming in the next year or so.”
Many of those proposals are smaller, local-level projects. Wade says the worst scenario is if the $2.7 billion was spent over several of those smaller projects and not addressing some of the bigger needs. “It would be tragic if the $2.7 billion was allocated among dozens of projects at local levels that supply perhaps necessary urban supply benefits, but they don’t provide benefits to agriculture,” Wade says. “From our perspective, we have got to build some big projects in the state. We have got to invest in long term, surface storage for the long term future of all Californians.”
Wade added that some of those proposals may not ever materialize to the application stage and we are still a couple years away from seeing what projects get that funding.