Lawmakers Get Pressured To Act On Water Bond

Jun 10, 2014

Pine Flat dam near Fresno on the Kings River (file photo)
Pine Flat dam near Fresno on the Kings River (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

California lawmakers are debating whether to put a scaled-down water bond on the November ballot. And as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, a rally at the Capitol Monday demonstrated the increasing pressure on the legislature as it wades through a number of bond proposals.

Business, agriculture and environmental leaders gathered under the blazing sun, in front the brown Capitol lawn to express the dire need for a water bond. Bryce Lundberg is a rice farmer and a member of the North State Water Alliance. His group has some criteria they’d like to see included in a bond.

Lundberg: “We believe that there are two overarching elements that must be in a water bond. First, investments that increase California’s water supply. And, second, operational certainty for managing future water supplies.”

The Alliance wants a water bond to include money for additional storage, environmental protections and improved urban water management.

An $11 billion bond is slated for the November ballot, but a recent poll suggested voters aren’t likely to approve the measure. Lawmakers are now considering replacing it with a smaller bond, though one that would still run into the billions of dollars. Several new proposals are pending in the legislature.