SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 13, 2014) – With Governor Jerry Brown’s support, state legislative leaders today approved, on a broad bipartisan basis, a $7.5 billion water bond that would provide clean drinking water for disadvantaged communities and provide $1.5 billion for water recycling, stormwater capture, water efficiency and other local water supply projects like those detailed in “The Untapped Potential of California’s Water Supply,” the report from NRDC and the Pacific Institute released earlier this summer.
The bond provides substantial funding to restore watersheds across the state, including the L.A. River, San Joaquin River and Salton Sea. It also provides as much as $3.6 billion (nearly half) in funding for groundwater storage and cleanup projects.
In addition, the bond does not provide funding for the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and will not advance that unsustainable plan for the Delta. Wasteful and environmentally damaging surface storage projects like Temperance Flat and raising Shasta Dam are likely ineligible for funding and would have to compete for funding against more cost-effective groundwater recharge projects.
Following is a statement by NRDC’s California Director Ann Notthoff:
“California’s drought brought a diverse set of interests together in support of a new bond that protects our environment and our economy, instead of one that creates a false choice between the two.
This new water bond proposal is the right response to this drought. It invests billions of dollars in cost-effective, 21st-century water solutions that will restore ecosystems, stabilize our ailing freshwater systems, cleanup and manage our groundwater basins, and improve reliability of water throughout California.”