Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wolk introduces bond to fund state water projects

From page A1 | August 14, 2013 | 8 Comments
State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced a $5.6 billion water bond Tuesday to provide funding for projects to address the state’s water needs.

“SB 42 is a fresh approach to this bond discussion,” said Wolk, who chairs the Senate Governance and Finance Committee and the Select Committee on Delta Stewardship and Sustainability.

“It focuses on funding the most effective, broadly supported projects that will meet the state’s most urgent water needs. At roughly half the amount of the $11.14 billion water bond currently slated for the 2014 ballot, this proposal is much more realistic.”

Senate Bill 42, The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality & Flood Protection Act of 2014, provides funding for projects that provide safe drinking water to those Californians who still do not have access to this basic resource, improve water supply reliability while decreasing demand on the state’s most stressed watershed, advance community support ecosystem restoration and improve levees in the delta.

The projects funded by the bond will benefit all regions of the state. Specifically, SB 42 addresses needs for the following:
* Regional water supply development around the state;
* Safe and clean drinking water;
* Delta community-supported ecosystem restoration and levee enhancement in the delta;
* Funding for watershed and ecosystem projects around the state;
* Support for development of groundwater and surface water storage to the extent that those facilities
   will provide public benefits; and
* Flood protection in the Central Valley.

“SB 42 will address the needs of the more than 2 million Californians who don’t have access to clean drinking water, and the more than 1 million Californians who are not adequately protected from catastrophic flood risk, while at the same time addressing the crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta,” Wolk said.

The delta is a fertile agricultural region and is the largest estuary in the Western Hemisphere, said the senator, who represents four of the five counties in the delta.

“This is a bond I believe my colleagues and voters can support,” she added.