Do You Support the Water Bond Measure?

Unbelievably, today’s title can be asked of the person most responsible for it, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. See the lead story in today’s LA Times at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-arnold-water-20100630,0,5464745.story
After several months of political machinations, the Governor and the California legislature put together a humongous, $11.1 billion measure, Proposition 18, and got it on the ballot for the election next November. But the Governor has been reading the polls, and he is pretty confident that California voters will reject this Proposition. So he is now working with the legislature to remove it from the ballot!
Won’t California shrivel up and wither away without this essential bond measure? Apparently, the Governor doesn’t think so — although he did just a few weeks ago. What is in this Proposition that made it so essential, but now apparently unimportant?
The one-word answer is “pork.” It is more of the same nonsense that has been foisted on the people of California ever since once-and-future(?) Governor Jerry Brown failed the people by stopping the construction of the Peripheral Canal. See a brief history of how your tax dollars have been spent in study after study after endless, pointless study at the “CalFed” web site:
http://calwater.ca.gov/calfed/about/History/Detailed.html
(Incidentally, a couple of days ago, the LA Times reported that all 50 employees of the existing Bay-Delta team would be moved into a brand new organization with the same mission but a new name, should Proposition 18 pass. How’s that for more of the same?)
Every few years, California has passed a “new-and-improved” multi-billion dollar bond measure to provide “safe and reliable drinking water.” The voters have done their share, time and again. But with the prevailing mood of voters this year being anti-spending, the Governor has made a wise political calculation to wait to ask for still more money.
What do we voters have to show from the previous billions spent on water? No reservoirs, no canals, no pumps, no improved water quality or reliability. In fact, arguably we have less of all of these!
But won’t we run out of water if we don’t pass Proposition 18? No, because the State of California doesn’t pay for the State Water Project! It is paid for by the State Water Contractors, a group of 27 water agencies (see www.swc.org). And these same people have been more than willing for the past 30 years to pay for the Peripheral Canal — without any bond measures or tax money!
I support a real solution to solving California’s chronic water shortages, and water quality deterioration caused by the current configuration of the State Water Project. I have zero confidence that Proposition 18 will yield such a solution.

One Response to Do You Support the Water Bond Measure?

  1. avatar Kevin D. Korenthal says:

    Here is my statement (as a candidate for The Castaic Lake Water Agency) on the matter:

    http://korenthal.com/blog/California-Water-Bond-Will-Not-Appear-on-Nov-2010-Ballot-Statement-by-CLWA-Candidate-Kevin-D-Korenthal

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