Today, Governor Jerry Brown announced legislation to provide $687.4 million to support drought relief efforts. Here are what organizations and legislators are saying about the proposed legislation, listed in alphabetical order:
From the California Water Foundation, this statement by Lester Snow:
“Fast tracking funding for local water supply projects is one of the few things we can do to mitigate the impacts of drought in California. Local water agencies and communities throughout the state are eager to advance innovative projects that will help stretch water supplies further—this funding will help make those projects a reality.
“Water recycling, stormwater capture, conservation programs, groundwater clean-up and other efforts are essential to ensuring Californians have stable water supplies. Making funds available to ensure the expedient completion of those projects is the prudent action to take as we face unprecedented drought conditions.”
“It is good to see the Governor and Legislative Democrats step up to the plate with some funding for real needs, but their proposal is just a drop in the bucket. It’s clear that their approach won’t make much of a dent in addressing our current drought problem until next year at the earliest, if then. More must be done to respond to the many pleas from the families, farmers and small business owners who are bearing the brunt of the extreme drought conditions plaguing our state.“While short-term help is needed, Sacramento must also focus on a long-term water solution. Tomorrow, we will propose legislation to help California plan for the evolving needs of a growing state. Our comprehensive proposal would secure California’s water future and hopefully minimize the impact of future droughts on our state.”Source: Statement by Republican Leader Conway and Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee Vice Chair Bigelow on Governor’s Emergency Drought Legislation Announcement
From Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett:
“I strongly support the proposed legislation by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg that will provide urgently needed assistance to communities and families affected by California’s historic drought. While federal authorities continue to debate over what may be the best solutions moving forward, California’s leaders are stepping up to provide critical practical help that addresses the state’s ongoing water challenges.”
“Though designed to address a number of drought impacts across the state, I am particularly pleased that the legislation will benefit East Bay and Tri-Valley communities through incentives for agricultural irrigation projects that reduce energy and water use, protection of water rights by stiffening civil liability for unauthorized water diversion or use during drought emergencies, as well as the acceleration of funding for shovel-ready projects that will enhance water supplies.”
“I also commend President Barack Obama and Governor Jerry Brown for their ongoing vision and leadership to ensure that we promptly restore California’s water future.”
From Senator Bob Huff:
“While it’s true that only Mother Nature can make it rain, reasonable minds can point to partisan political decision-making over the years which has led to missed opportunities to responsibly collect and store water. Now, California faces yet another crisis that will impede our ability to get more people back to work. The governor wants to spend $688 million but his only solution moving forward is to urge more conservation and that won’t put people back to work. Californians deserve a government that works for them. We need a real plan that increases storage for a growing state, and the foundation for that plan is the proposed water bond by Senator Anthony Cannella and Senator Andy Vidak.
“While our caucus is reviewing the governor’s proposal, I’m glad there is agreement on the need to capture as much water as possible, as well as for more long-term storage. We are ready to work with the governor and Legislative Democrats on the details of this proposal. The expedited use of bond funds makes sense, and it’s important that people know the funding for the plan is already in place, so there’s no need for new taxes. In the meantime, there’s no question that every Californian has a responsibility to do their part to conserve water. Going forward, hopefully this drought is a lesson to us that we need more water storage and a better water system to effectively manage the water we have.”
From the Metropolitan Water District, this statement by Jeffrey Kightlinger:
““Strategic funding of drought relief programs can lessen the impacts, and this proposal is a very important first step to providing that assistance. Expediting the flow of funding and removing regulatory barriers to relief efforts are important tools for the governor and the Legislature.
“Given that it would take a historic series of storms throughout the rest of the winter and spring to merely get back to an ‘average’ rain year, this drought presents an extremely serious challenge for California. The collaborative approach announced today by the governor and the legislative leadership exemplifies how we must face this drought as one state.”
From the San Diego County Water Authority:
“We applaud the rapid response and leadership demonstrated by California’s leaders today – Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tempore Steinberg and Speaker Pérez – in announcing drought relief financing and assistance legislation,” said Thomas V. Wornham, Chair of the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors.
“All regions of the state can benefit from expedited regional funding programs and targeted efforts to quickly get water supply and drought relief projects into development,” Wornham said. “As we have learned and implemented in San Diego County, a sustained focus on local and regional water supply development and conservation is vitally important in any strategy to successfully manage the wide variations in California’s hydrology.
“The Water Authority looks forward to working with the Legislature and administration on legislation that provides meaningful opportunities for drought relief.”
From the State Water Contractors, this statement by Terry Erlewine:
“We applaud the Governor and state leadership on the efforts announced today to help mitigate impacts the drought is causing statewide. Public water agencies are working hard to carefully manage water supplies and encourage conservation, but we all can and must do more. This additional funding for local supply projects will be crucial in efforts to continue providing safe and reliable water to communities across California during this unprecedented drought. Looking forward, these local efforts must be coupled with increased reliability of our statewide water supply – in preparing for the future it is crucial that we secure all water supplies, both local and imported.”
Note: If you would like your organization’s statement listed here, please email it to me.