This just in … Reactions to water bond: ACWA and Speaker Toni Atkins say yes; Restore the Delta says no
Here are the latest reactions to the water bond:
“ACWA applauds the recent progress on developing a smaller, more viable water bond for the November 2014 ballot. As California experiences one of the worst droughts in its history, 2014 is clearly a year to commit to the implementation of a comprehensive water program to improve water supply and drought preparedness throughout the state. The passage of a water bond in 2014 is fundamental to this goal.
“ACWA supports the framework for a $7 billion bond released by the Brown Administration on Monday. We believe that it takes an historic step toward addressing California’s water crisis in a fiscally prudent manner, while providing substantial funding for new storage, local resource development, watershed enhancement, and safe drinking water. We recognize that there are still significant issues under negotiation, and urge all parties to work together to resolve remaining differences as soon as possible. If we can achieve a smaller bond with bipartisan support and broad support from water, business, labor, agricultural, and conservation interests throughout the state, the prospects for success at the ballot in November will be greatly enhanced.”
From Speaker Toni Atkins:
From Restore the Delta:
“Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today called upon Delta and other legislators to vote against Governor Brown’s water bond proposal, saying it is NOT “tunnels neutral,” and contains $485 million to buy water to be pumped into the tunnels. RTD called upon Delta legislators to reject any bond with false protections. “This bond proposal gives the Brown administration $485 million to buy water to be pumped into the tunnels,” said RTD Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. “It contains false protections for the Delta, and we call upon legislators, especially those representing the Delta, to vote against it. We are not fooled, and this bond will become a referendum on the tunnels. That is not going to advance the water solutions we need.”
The governor’s flow language would allow public funds to be used to purchase water that could be diverted into the Delta tunnels. The Department of Fish and Wildlife would use up to $485,000,000 from Sections 79733 and 79737 to buy water that would be dedicated under Water Code Section 1707 for instream use in waterways upstream of the Delta. However, once that water reached the tunnel intakes it could be diverted into the tunnels. The new wording does not prevent that. This water would be available for export from the Delta the same as any other water purchased by the exporters. The public would be paying for that benefit to the exporters.