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Bond Measure Touted As Answer To Calif. Water Crisis

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Aired 4/8/10

The $11 billion state water bond measure is being promoted as a way to improve California's water supply reliability and restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem.

A popular comedian was one of several speakers urging voters to approve water bond measure on California's November ballot. While the comedian made people at the San Diego forum laugh, he did not joke about the state's water crisis.

This pie chart shows the 2020 projected water supply and the surrounding gray boxes indicate how the money in the bond would be spent statewide, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.
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Above: This pie chart shows the 2020 projected water supply and the surrounding gray boxes indicate how the money in the bond would be spent statewide, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.

Comedian Paul Rodriguez, Chairman of the Latino Water Coalition, urged passage of the $11 billion water bond measure on California’s November ballot at a meeting on April 7, 2010.
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Above: Comedian Paul Rodriguez, Chairman of the Latino Water Coalition, urged passage of the $11 billion water bond measure on California’s November ballot at a meeting on April 7, 2010.

The California Aqueduct carries water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Southern California as urgent calls for California residents to conserve water grow. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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Above: The California Aqueduct carries water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Southern California as urgent calls for California residents to conserve water grow. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The $11 billion state water bond measure is being promoted as a way to improve California's water supply reliability and restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem.

That's a major source of San Diego's drinking water.

Comedian Paul Rodriguez grew up in rural Fresno County and is chairman of the Latino Water Coalition.

He said fixing the state's water infrastructure becomes more critical as California's population grows.

"Every projection made by statisticians will see that we will reach 50 million in no time," said Rodriguez said. "And sooner or later, it might not be this generation, but sooner or later they're going to have to deal with it. Now, we can deal with it ourselves or leave it to our children."

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said a year of average snowfall won't solve long term water problems.

"We can have all the snow in the world and it's really not going to affect our quality of life," said Sanders. "We need to build the storage facilities, we need to build the bypass, we need to rebuild the Delta."

Fixing the Delta would help residents and state farmers.

Eric Larson is the executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau. He said the county's farm economy would not be possible without imported water.

"We're the number one county in the nation in nursery production, number one in avocados, number one in small farms, we have more organic farms in San Diego County than any county in the nation and we have more part-time farmers," said Larson. "If the imported water supply is threatened or we don't develop more local supplies, all of these go away."

The water bond measure includes more than $200 million for the San Diego region.

The forum did not include opponents of the bond measure.

One reason critics oppose the measure is because it pays for new dams which could destroy wildlife habitat.

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