Previous money unspent as leaders urge new bond

Sacramento

As California grapples with chronic and massive debt, state leaders are pushing voters to approve one of the largest bonds in state history, $11 billion in money they say is necessary to help repair and rebuild the beleaguered water system.

But a Chronicle investigation has found that of the more than $20 billion in state water bonds passed since 1996, more than $3 billion has never been spent. And about $1 billion of that unspent money was intended for projects in line to get even more money from the upcoming bond measure.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/08/01/MNAG1EHPJN.DTL&feed=rss.news#ixzz0varOVYtv

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Comment: The Prop. 18 bond would cost $800 million a year, when the state budget still is in the red by $19 billion. Instead of passing Prop. 18, the $12 billion bullet-choochoo boondoggle should be repealed.

Hollywood Stars Slam Schwarzenegger’s Water Bond

The PSA features such actors as David DeLuise, from “Wizards of Waverly Place” and son of Dom DeLuise; Justine Bateman, from “Family Ties,” “Californication” and “Desperate Housewives;” Kelly Williams, from “Lie to Me,” “The Practice” and “Scrubs”; Anna Belknap, from “CSI: NY.”

Hollywood Stars Slam Schwarzenegger’s Water Bond

by Dan Bacher

The No on 18 Campaign on Tuesday announced its release of a public service announcement featuring Hollywood actors united against Proposition 18, the $11.14 billion pork-laden water bond backed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.

Read more…

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Comment: Arnold’s Hollywood pals finally have gotten wise to him, about how he has wrecked California. The bonds would cost $11 billion, or $800 million a year, at a time when the state budget is $19 billion in the red.

Chronicle: California’s ailing water supplies need help

California’s main water source – the delta junction of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers – is not a bottomless well. It needs conserving, less diversion and the political will to see the job through.

These points are all at issue in a report from the State Water Resources Control Board, which reiterated in newer, fresher terms that delta siphoning must be curbed in the name of fish, wildlife and the overall health of the region’s winding waterways, which it termed “public trust resources.”

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Can private sector, sensors, innovation save our waterways?

Environmentalism has become detached from innovation and that’s killing our waterways unless we use technology to bolster real-time monitoring.

That was the message of John Cronin, CEO of Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries. Speaking at the IBM blogger day in Armonk, Cronin outlined how the Hudson River in New York has become a great big technology project. The idea: IBM and Beacon, which is developing technology, systems and sensors to monitor water in real-time, aim to create the equivalent of a water weather report.

At any time, Beacon will be able to monitor pollution flows, water changes, barometric pressure and other data. Next up is the innovation needed to deploy these systems and replicate elsewhere. “I can tell you the weather and barometric pressure anyplace in the world. Can you tell you what’s in drinking water now (and) where fish are? We don’t have information yet,” said Cronin.

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Comment: Great ideas. The more privatization the better.

Cal Water Bond: What does Prop. 18 really say and do?

At the end of 2009, the California Legislature passed a series of water-related bills and at the same time approved a massive $11.14 billion bond [the “Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010”] to fund a wide range of water projects and efforts. This is the largest water bond in 50 years, yet the costs and benefits of the bond have not been fully assessed by an independent organization. Until now.

This bond is to be voted on by California voters in November, as Proposition 18. The Governor recently proposed postponing the bond, but the Legislature has not yet taken the action required to have it pulled off of the November ballot.

The Pacific Institute has just completed a major, comprehensive, and independent analysis of the bond and released the report: The California 2010 Water Bond: What Does It Say and Do?

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/gleick/detail??blogid=104&entry_id=69267#ixzz0va7H8Xl7

Trager Water Report Commentary: The bottom line is that the state is broke and can’t afford the $800 million yearly bond cost, especially for all the pork in it.

Elite Science Panel Wades Into Calif. Water War

TRACY, Calif. — Scientists tasked with unraveling one of the nation’s most vexing environmental puzzles started their first field trip to the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta at a fish processing facility here near one of the estuary’s major water-pumping stations.

Assembled by the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists — 15 experts in estuarine ecology, hydrology, fisheries science and water resources engineering — were gathering information for a series of reports that could influence management of the West Coast’s largest estuary for decades to come.

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California water crisis over?

A little over a year ago, farmers, farm workers and local politicians were marching arm-in-arm across the San Joaquin Valley begging for water for agriculture and jobs.

About the same time, politicians in Sacramento were behind closed doors making pork-and-bean deals to get an $11-billion bond issue on the November 2010 ballot.

Today the hardest hit farmers on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley want to sell surplus water to Los Angeles and the water bond will very likely be postponed until 2012.

What happened?

It rained and snowed in California.

Read more…