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The water bond deal is done. But will it actually improve California’s water system?

Thursday, Aug 21st, 2014

Sites 2014.JM
Antelope Valley, location of the proposed Sites Reservoir
Photo by Jim Morris

The legislative passage of a $7.5 billion water bond measure was a bright moment in what has been a tough year for California’s water managers and users. But the measure, now on the November ballot as Proposition 1, raises an important question: During one of the worst droughts in a century, would these billions of dollars put California on a path to water sustainability? Over the last year, California Forward and its partners in the California Economic Summit have been urging lawmakers to make sustainability their highest priority in fashioning the bond proposal. California needs more investment in the state’s aging water infrastructure, but it also needs smarter investments. An analysis of Proposition 1 by CA Fwd’s Justin Ewers concludes that many of the bond’s provisions offer a step in the right direction: The measure is mostly free of traditional “pork,” it dedicates significant funding to multi-benefit projects, encourages integration of water management across watersheds, and creates a series of competitive grant processes to support infrastructure that will provide the biggest return on the state’s investment.

Click here for the full blog by Justin Ewers.

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