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Remembering Prop 1

“Voters are being misled if they think they are going to get a meaningful amount of water out of new dams.”

Aug 23, 2017

Do you remember Prop 1?  It was back in November of 2014 when the people of California voted to fund $2.7-billion for water storage projects in California.  It's been 3-years and still there's no 'for sure' project in sight.  Environmental groups opposed any big dam projects and according to Ron Stork with Friends of the River in the Mercury News in 2014, “All the good dam sites are taken and the water is already diverted,” he said. “Voters are being misled if they think they are going to get a meaningful amount of water out of new dams.”

We don't think the water bureaucracy of California including elected officials want new big storage like Sites and Temperance Flat.  The bond was written in such a way that it takes a lot of time to get anything done.  After 3-years we now have a list of applications for the money.  The decision about who gets the money will be made by the California Water Commission, a panel appointed by the Governor. 

A coalition of Central Valley county lawmakers has put in an application for Temperance Flat funding.  We applaud their effort, but wonder about the chances.  According to the East Bay Times, "The bond money can’t pay for storing water for residential, commercial or agricultural use, just for uses that benefit the public as a whole. Environmental uses are the most clearly defined public benefit. The money also has to result in “measurable” improvements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta."  The need in the Central Valley is agricultural, but we have to prove other benefits to get it, which means there will be less for ag. 

We don't get the feeling that the Commission is anxious to build Temp Flat, but we hold out hope.  We are now 3-years past the passing of Prop 1 and are just taking applications.  The Commission has until the end of 2021 to decide which projects will be funded. 

Editorial: Water bonds should be used to fund Sites Reservoir

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