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Back to the Future!

He calls it “a no-frills, no-pork water water bond that invests in the most critical projects without breaking the bank.” Apparently "no-frills" means no storage.

Aug 06, 2014

California Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a $6 billion water bond to be placed on the November ballot. He calls it “a no-frills, no-pork water water bond that invests in the most critical projects without breaking the bank.” Apparently "no-frills" means no storage.

The governor made no mention of the $3 billion for storage that has been discussed recently. In June of last year we wrote the following newsletter. We could write the same thing today except it was $9 billion then and $6 billion now.

$80B and Not a Dam in Sight!

Jun 07, 2013

According to the San Francisco Chronicle it will cost over $54B for the total cost of the Delta's part of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan ($54.1 billion to construct two tunnels, restore delta habitat, administer the project and pay the interest on the bonds ($26.3 billion interest on the tunnel revenue bonds plus $3.2 billion on the general obligation bonds). We know the legislators in Sacramento are re-writing the Water Bond because they feel like the $11B price tag is too much for voters in the wake of high-speed rail. They will try to get it down to about $9B. Did you also know we Californians have passed $18.7B in water bonds since 2000. There are no dams in the BDCP. Dams are being written out of the new water bond to cut the costs. There have been no dams in the old water bonds. That's a total of over $80B in bonds and the BDCP and no dams anywhere to be found. Throw in $68B for the high-speed rail and we have a total of almost $150B and we can't find a measly $1-2B for a dam at Temperance Flat?

Oh, and by the way, we didn't even mention the EPA survey that says California should spend $44.5B to fix our aging water systems over the next two decades, again with no mention of dams. That takes us up to $194B, but no dams. Guess we'll ride that high-speed rail right out of Dodge.

Brown outlines $6 billion water bond

John Howard
Gov. Brown on Tuesday unveiled the outline of a $6 billion alternative “no-frills” water bond for the November ballot, a sharply scaled back plan that is fully $5 billion less than the existing bond now facing voters.
The governor, up for reelection in November, announced the plan on his campaign web site in an open letter to voters.
If approved by lawmakers, it would replace the $11.14 billion water bond already scheduled to go before voters in November. That bond, delayed for years amid fears that it would be rejected by recession-weary voters, was approved in a bipartisan vote in the Legislature and signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The governor described his plan as “a no-frills, no-pork water water bond that invests in the most critical projectys without breaking the bank.”

Brown, without giving details, said his proposal provided funds for water recycling, river protections, storage, groundwater management and watershed protections. He did not mention the $3 billion in the current bond slated for storage, safeguards for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta or the level of southbound water deliveries — all critical issues in the current Capitol negotiations over the water bond.

In June, the governor noted he favored a $6 billion proposal, about half of which would go for water quality projects, watershed restoration and supply reliability, among other projects. It also included $2 billion for storage.

Brown said the state already spends some $8 billion annually on bond debt service, and that would be increased another $750 million a year over the next three decades if the $11.14 billion bond is approved.

“We must act now so that we can continue to manage as good stewards of this vital resource for generations to come. But we can and must do so without returning California to the days of overwhelming deficit and debt,” Brown wrote.

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