Gov. Brown Touts State Water Bond at Water Authority Headquarters

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Gov. Brown Touts State Water Bond at Water Authority
Local leaders also support Proposition 1 to improve statewide water supplies

Gov. Jerry Brown and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins today rallied support for Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion state water bond on the Nov. 4 ballot, during a visit to the San Diego County Water Authority headquarters.

The governor was backed by Water Authority Board Chair Mark Weston, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and many members of the county’s state legislative delegation: Sen. Joel Anderson, Sen. Marty Block, Sen. Ben Hueso, Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, Assemblymember Marie Waldron, and Assemblymember Shirley Weber. They were joined by representatives from business, labor, civic and environmental groups.

After an open public discussion, the Water Authority’s Board of Directors unanimously adopted a formal position in favor of Proposition 1 on Aug. 28. The ballot measure meets the Water Authority’s policy goals for equitable distribution of funds, support of statewide priorities including water storage and water-use efficiency, and greater regional and local water supply self-sufficiency through potable reuse projects, non-potable water recycling projects and seawater desalination.

Several member agencies of the Water Authority have taken their own positions of support for the water bond. They are: Fallbrook Public Utility District, Helix Water District, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Sweetwater Authority, and Valley Center Municipal Water District. In addition, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has endorsed Proposition 1 on a 5-0 vote.

“Proposition 1 provides funding for projects and initiatives that will enhance statewide water supply reliability over the long run,” Weston said. “As the Water Authority’s own supply diversification strategy has shown, it’s important to invest in a variety of programs to meet our water needs – from conservation and water reuse to desalination and additional water storage. Proposition 1 is a major step toward new water supply development and large-scale water infrastructure projects important for the future of San Diego County and the rest of the state.”

The water bond was the product of negotiations led by Gov. Brown, Speaker Atkins and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. It replaced an $11.1 billion bond that had been on the fall ballot. The Water Authority worked for months to advocate for the San Diego region’s policy priorities in Sacramento, and the Water Authority supported the final version of the bond passed by the Legislature. Every member of the San Diego County delegation voted for the bond measure.

Proposition 1 would provide money for water-use efficiency and recycling, groundwater cleanup and management, as well as $2.7 billion for additional water storage. It also would invest in safe drinking water, particularly in disadvantaged communities, and provide for watershed restoration and increased flows in some of California's most important rivers and streams, including the San Diego River.

The water bond contains competitive funding opportunities for the San Diego region to advance local and regional water supply development.

  • Chapter 9 would provide $725 million for water recycling and advanced water treatment technology projects – including potable and non-potable reuse and seawater desalination projects – for which San Diego County water suppliers could compete.
  • Chapter 7 would allocate $52.5 million to the San Diego funding area for local and regional Integrated Regional Water Management projects.
  • Chapter 6 would allocate $475 million to help fulfill state obligations, including mitigation and restoration obligations at the Salton Sea as part of the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement of 2003.
  • Chapter 7 would provide $100 million for water-use efficiency projects for which San Diego County water suppliers could compete.
  • Chapter 6 would allocate $17 million to the San Diego River Conservancy for important land conservation, open space, habitat, wetlands, and water quality improvement opportunities in the San Diego River watershed.

Of the bond money that is regionally allocated, the San Diego region would receive nearly 11 percent of the total, an equitable amount proportional to the region’s share of the state’s population.