Among the topics of Governor Jerry Brown’s final State of the State address, he briefly mentioned Proposition 1 (Prop 1), a $7.545 billion statewide ballot initiative also known as the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.
Governor Brown stated that Californians passed “a water bond that invests in safe drinking water, conservation and storage. As a result, we will soon begin expending funds on some of the storage we’ve needed for decades.
As the climate changes and more water arrives as rain instead of snow, it is crucial that we are able to capture the overflow in a timely and responsible way. That, together with recycling and rainwater recapture will put us in the best position to use water wisely and in the most efficient way possible. We are also restoring the Sacramento and San Joaquin watersheds to protect water supplies and improve California’s iconic salmon runs.”
As an update on Prop 1 for WG members, WG submitted comments in August 2017 to the Commission in support of both the Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat Reservoir projects. The proposed Sites Reservoir, an off-stream facility that would store excess flows from the Sacramento River north of the Delta, would add up to 1.8 million acre feet of capacity, while Temperance Flat Reservoir, which would be located on the San Joaquin River, would create an additional 1.26 million acre feet of water storage.
WG is continuing to urge the Commission to fund these two projects, as California voters approved the 2014 water bond with the expectation that the state would build new water storage projects.
Additionally, WG is working to garner support to help pass SB 623, a bill that protects agricultural operations from being subjected to enforcement actions for exceeding nitrate levels in groundwater, provided farmers meet existing permit requirements. All water users – agricultural, urban and industrial – would contribute by paying modest fees into the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund which would provide accessible, clean drinking water where contamination has made water unsafe, and allow farmers to continue farming.