Clean Water Action Opposes Bad Water Bond!

Proposition 18 is the largest water bond ever placed before voters, and is the fifth water bond in the last decade. Just paying the bond back will put a tremendous stress on the state’s already depleted General Fund, which is used to repay general obligation bonds. In the past two years, California’s General Fund expenditures have shrunk by about 15%, from a high of $102 billion in 2007-2008 to an estimated $86 billion this year(1), resulting in significant cuts to state services and payments to local counties. These cuts will get worse if this bond is passes since repayment of general obligation bonds takes precedence over most other General Fund expenditures – like higher education and in-home support services for seniors. This year, $5.75 billion from the General Fund will go to pay debt service on existing bonds and the number is expected to grow to over $10 billion in 2013-2014 as already approved but unspent bonds are sold(2).

As California’s economy struggles to recover, repayment of an $11.14 billion bond would cost the General Fund another $800 million annually or $24 billion over 30 years.

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Water demand could exceed supply by 2050

Even without climate change, much of California is at high risk of water demand exceeding supply by 2050, according to a report released this month.

The National Resources Defense Council commissioned environmental consulting firm Tetra Tech to perform an assessment of water supply and demand under future climate and growth scenarios. Much of the United States could face water shortages, but water sustainability is at extreme risk in the Great Plains and the southwest United States, according to the analysis.

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