“Our decades-old water infrastructure is failing to meet the demands of agriculture, increased populations and environmental regulations,” said Assemblyman Adam Gray. “We have been living on the credit card of infrastructure built and paid for by past generations. It is time for us to step up and make this critical investment in California’s future.”
The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 2686, would issue more than $9 billion for water projects:
- $3 billion: Water Storage Infrastructure
- $1 billion: Clean and Safe Drinking Water
- $2.5 billion: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Sustainability
- $1.5 billion: Protecting Rivers, Lakes, Streams, Coastal Waters, and Watersheds
- $1.5 billion: Climate Change Preparedness for Regional Water Security
Another supporter, Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), said the measure would help in many areas of California, which has diverse water issues.
“As the drought continued to worsen, multiple water bonds have been proposed, but this bond has the right balance needed to serve the entire state – families and farmers alike,” said Salas. “Representing the hardest hit areas of this water crisis, we outline a water infrastructure plan to protect the $43 billion agricultural industry that keeps our economy strong and address the dire needs of our communities who struggle to attain clean drinking water.”
An important aspect of AB 2686 is that it includes continuous appropriation for the surface storage component, meaning that funds will be locked in to these projects and cannot be re-appropriated elsewhere by legislation.
AB 2686 is supported by a bipartisan coalition of legislators as well as a diverse group of stakeholders and community organizations, according to a release by Gray.
“AB 2686 is the only bond proposal introduced this session that has both the necessary $3 billion investment in Water and Storage Infrastructure as well as bipartisan support. We need new water in California and AB 2686 delivers on that promise,” Gray said.
Nick Rappley can be reached at 209-568-9975 or firstname.lastname@example.org.