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Prop 3

The election is less than 6 weeks away. There is a water bond on the ballot.

Sep 30, 2018

The election is less than 6 weeks away.  There is a water bond on the ballot.  It's Proposition 3.  Many in the Valley are supporting it.  The column below is written by former Congressman George Radanovich who is one of its supporters.  We want to make it clear that Families Protecting the Valley is not officially supporting Prop 3, nor are we opposing it.  We are passing along this information as well as some other links in support and opposition.  There will be more on this prior to election day.  

From George Radanovich:

Proposition 3 is the best state proposition for the Central Valley which has ever been presented to the voters.  It makes huge and important investments in water supplies, and will produce hundreds of thousands of acre feet of new water for agriculture and Valley cities.

Unlike any previous California ballot measure, half of the benefits of Proposition 3 will go to the Central Valley.  This is appropriate for a water bond, since most water rises and is used in the Central Valley watershed.  The rest of the state will benefit from good water management in the Central Valley, since our water use is so interconnected.

Some of its most important provisions include:

$750 million to repair the Friant-Kern and Madera Canals.  The Canals sank during the drought due to groundwater overdraft, and their reduced capacity made it impossible to divert high flows from the San Joaquin River to be stored in groundwater in 2016.  300,000 acre feet were lost to the ocean.  Proposition will ensure the repair of these and other vital facilities.

$640 million to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.  This will allow for the construction of facilities to divert flood flows to groundwater storage, build recharge ponds, and otherwise better manage our critically important groundwater supplies.

$750 million to provide safe drinking water and wastewater treatment for disadvantaged communities.  This will help fix problems such as nitrates and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the Valley.

Prop. 3 includes hundreds of millions of dollars to improve fisheries habitat and ease the pressure to release water to the sea.  Required flows for endangered fish species have depleted Valley water supplies.  Habitat is a necessary complement to flow, and it is proven to increase fish populations. Proposition 3 directs the State Water Board to recognize the value of habitat for native fisheries, as they consider flow standards

Rangeland conservation and watershed restoration are vital to maintaining and improving Valley water supplies.  Drought has killed millions of trees, and fire has devastated these watersheds.  Regrowth of young trees is using excessive water, resulting in unhealthy forests.  Invasive weeds use excessive amounts of water. Prop. 3 includes $400 million to restore these watersheds, and help them recover from fire.

Conserving irrigation water can have great positive impacts on farmers’ bottom line.  Prop. 3 includes $50 million to provide incentives for agricultural water conservation.

Prop. 3 also includes $200 million for the repair of Oroville Dam.

The benefits of Proposition 3 to the Central Valley are obvious to the political leaders and interest groups who care most about the Valley.  They are listed at the end of this article.

Central Valley voters hit above their weight.  Previous water bonds that were not viewed as sufficiently beneficial to the Valley did poorly here.  When Central Valley voters saw benefits from Proposition 1 in 2014, they strongly supported it, and Prop. 1 passed with 67%.

I urge all Central Valley voters to support Proposition 3, and give us who live here a brighter water future.

Former Congressman George Radanovich, President, California Fresh Fruit Association

Valadao, Costa other valley leaders rally in support of Prop 3

Yes: Initiative’s main backer says Prop. 3 will meet state needs as population grows and climate changes

No: Sierra Club leader says Prop. 3 benefits billionaire stakeholders and could harm the environment.

What is Proposition 3 and what does it mean for Kern County?  Supporters and opponents weigh in

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