Historically, the State has used pubic funds for water-related activities, including: providing services that would not otherwise be provided privately; subsidizing activities to address ability-to-pay issues; administering a program at the State level because of economies of scale or other efficiencies available to the state; and, water related activities with a significant public purpose such as planning and management of the statewide water system, broadening access to necessary water services, ecosystem improvements, management of water-related risks and major public emergencies, and water system changes that improve recreational opportunities.
During water negotiations, RCRC’s water bond priorities (based upon RCRC adopted policy principles) included:
- Inclusion of water rights and area of origin protections;
- Funding for public benefits associated with water storage projects;
- Funding for small community wastewater treatment projects;
- Funding for disadvantaged communities and economically distressed areas;
- Funding for public benefits associated with Delta sustainability;
- Funding for ecosystem and watershed protection projects; and,
- Funding for groundwater protection.
Proposition 1 – the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (approved by voters in November 2014), will authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $7.120 billion, and the reallocation of $425 million of the unissued bonds authorized by Propositions 1E, 13, 44, 50, 85 and 204. Proposition 1 will provide funding for a variety of water-related programs and projects.
Proposition 1 is the result of years of discussions among State lawmakers and stakeholders to craft a bond measure to provide funding for surface and groundwater storage projects, regional water reliability, sustainable groundwater management and water cleanup, water recycling, water conservation, and safe drinking water, with a particular emphasis on assistance for disadvantaged communities. Legislation placing Proposition 1 on the November 2014 ballot was approved on a near unanimous, bipartisan vote by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown on August 13, 2014.
The RCRC Board of Directors took a support position on Proposition 1 at the September 2014 Board Meeting.
Staff: Mary-Ann Warmerdam