Amid the myriad election outcome stories you’ll be hearing and reading about today, CWC doesn’t want you to miss one result that is especially important for the water infrastructure landscape: California voters yesterday approved a $7.5 billion injection of taxpayer funds to address the state’s aging water infrastructure. The bond was the fourth largest in California’s history, and its approval had become a high priority for many of the state’s legislators from both parties and for Governor Brown. The bond, known as Proposition 1, is intended to help California’s ability to cope with drought conditions, increase its water storage capacity and protect drinking water. It passed with roughly 67 percent of the vote.
Proposition 1 authorizes $7.12 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects. These include public water system improvements, surface and groundwater storage, drinking water protection, water recycling and advanced water treatment technology, water supply management and conveyance, wastewater treatment, drought relief, emergency water supplies, and ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration. It appropriates money from the state’s General Fund to pay off bonds, and requires certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive bond funds. The bond funds will be distributed through a competitive grant process overseen by various state agencies. For more details on Proposition 1, including the specific spending proposals it includes, click here.
Proposition 1 is an example of the kind of initiative that CWC is pushing in its advocacy efforts not only during elections but every day on our members’ behalf. As is the case in many states, California’s financial health depends on an effective and reliable water supply. Proposition 1 helps secure the state’s water future and economic vitality by funding the construction of new facilities that store, treat, and deliver water. We applaud the bipartisan efforts of California legislators supporting this bond, and California voters for approving it.