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Politics

$10 Billion Water Bond Measure Moving Through California Legislature

This undated file photo released by the California Department of Water Resources shows water making its way south through the Central Valley by way of the California Aqueduct.
California Department of Water Resources
This undated file photo released by the California Department of Water Resources shows water making its way south through the Central Valley by way of the California Aqueduct.

A $10 billion water bond could be headed to California’s November ballot if a bill in the state legislature wins approval. The measure would be a substitute for the $11 billion bond initiative currently on the ballot.

Backers of the proposed water bond say it manages to balance statewide urban, agricultural and conservation needs.

“This bond would provide funding and support the broadest range of projects and programs that would collectively support the state’s moving forward on its water plan,” says Michael Peterson with the Sacramento County Department of Water Resources.

Critics say the bill should be revised to make it easier for local water agencies to pursue their own water recycling, waterway restoration, and water storage programs.

“The latest draft goes in the opposite direction of making it more bureaucratic,” says Timothy Quinn with the Association of California Water Agencies. “It has more red tape and makes it more expensive to apply for state funding under the bond.”

The measure requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature and approval from the Governor to qualify for the November ballot. The full Senate will take it up Monday.

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