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Lawmakers Get Pressured To Act On Water Bond

Jun 10, 2014

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.