In today’s Water Works, brought to you by AquiMax, there will be another water proposition on the ballot for Californians this November. Proposition 3, the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018, would authorize $8.877 billion in general obligation bonds for various types of water projects. The proposition’s broad spending categories include watershed lands, water supply, fish and wildlife habitat, water facility upgrades, groundwater, and flood protection.
The water bond would use $3.03 billion for safe drinking water and improving water quality. Watershed and fishery improvement projects would receive $2.895 billion in funding. A total of $1.54 billion would be spent on improving water conveyance, as well as groundwater sustainability and storage, with another $500 million going towards flood protection. Habitat protection efforts would receive $940 million in funding.
There is a wide range of supporters of the proposition including the Nature Conservancy, the California Watershed Network, along with the American River Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation. Several agricultural groups such as California Farm Bureau Federation, American Pistachio Growers, the California Rice Commission and California Citrus Mutual have also endorsed Proposition 3.
Politicians including Representatives Jim Costa and David Valadao, as well as Assemblyman Jim Patterson and State Senator Andy Vidak, have also issued their support of the water bond. The group recently gathered at the Friant-Kern Canal to formally launch the Yes on Prop 3 campaign.
Opponents of the water bond claim it would move funding away from upland habitat conservation as well as taking money from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. Other criticisms of the proposition include the funding structure, which could reduce the amount of money available for programs such as education, affordable housing, and healthcare.
The Public Policy Institute of California indicated that in a survey conducted back in July, 58 percent of likely voters would be supporting the new water bond in November. That survey also demonstrated 17 percent of likely voters were still undecided.
Listen to the report below.