40,000 people observed the opening of the aqueduct into the San Fernando Valley
The latest water bond proposal calls for $7.5 billion that would allocate $2 billion for surface and groundwater storage projects, $850 million for Delta levees and habitat restoration, and $1 billion for groundwater cleanup. If this sounds familiar you are not mistaken. We have spent billions of dollars doing the very same thing. None of those projects has resulted in more available water.
On December 9, 2012 George Skelton, Los Angeles Times commentator/reporter, wrote “The truth is that no matter what the size of the bond issue no additional water will come to Los Angeles nor will there be any additional water for agriculture. The reality is that Californians will have to face water rationing. However, construction companies will benefit from this giant expenditure. I wonder how much money will be donated to campaign re-elections.”
I conducted my own on line research on California water bonds and found the following bonds approved.
Proposition 13. In March 2000, California voters approved Proposition 13 (2000 Water Bond), which authorizes the State of California to sell $1.97 billion in general obligation bonds to support safe drinking, water quality, flood protection and water reliability projects throughout the State.
Proposition 40.In March 2002, California voters approved Proposition 40, a $2.6 billion state bond measure for conservation, neighbourhood parks, and coastline and watershed protection. Proposition 40 was the largest conservation bond measure ever approved in California.
Proposition 50.In November 2002, the $3.4 billion water bond measure, the largest in California history, was approved by voters. It provides $825 million in funding for CALFED for a variety of programs, including surface water storage studies, water conveyance facilities, levee improvements, water supply reliability projects, ecosystem restoration, watershed programs, conservation and water recycling. More on Proposition 50 is available at http://www.water.ca.gov/grants- loans.
Proposition 84. In November 2006 California voters approved this measure that will fund water, flood control, natural resources, park and conservation projects by authorizing $5,388,000,000 in general obligation bonds. The bonds will be used to fund various projects aimed at (1) improving drinking and agricultural water quality and management; (2) preserving, restoring and increasing public access to rivers and beaches; (3) improving flood control. See details of the law at http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/1008/files/prop 84 text.pdf.
My calculator says these propositions spent more than $13 billion. The cost to pay back those bonds with interest will most likely be double that amount.
California is up to its neck in commitments and needs. The recent claims that the state government has a surplus is incorrect. The surplus is only in terms of money needed to pay this year’s bills. We are drowning in future debt owed to retired teachers, retired state employees, and other bond commitments. Our infrastructure is falling apart.
Unless I hear some startling reason for this waste of tax dollars we should all vote NO to this give away.