State of Emergency Declared in California



Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declares a state of emergency in one California County after contaminated tap water was found.The residents of San Bernardino County were warned late last week not to drink the tap water.This was after the city of Barstow’s water supply showed traces of a toxic chemical used to make rocket fuel and explosives…Residents were told boiling the water would *not* help in reducing the chemical level in the water.Instead they were urged to take advantage of the free water bottles that were being distributed..Golden state water company is investigating the source of the contamination.

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ACWA Bill Goes to Governor; Water Rights Measure Dies on Assembly Floor

ACWA-sponsored legislation addressing penalties for wastewater discharge reporting was sent to the governor while a strongly opposed bill on water rights died on the Assembly floor as the legislative session came to an end Tuesday night.

Lawmakers also passed a handful of bills on local government compensation, including a measure prohibiting automatic raises exceeding cost-of-living adjustments for specified local officials. The bills emerged in the wake of salary abuses reported in the city of Bell.

SB 1284 (Ducheny), sponsored by ACWA, addresses high penalties for water agencies and others for failing to report there was no wastewater discharge or failing to report a discharge that did not violate environmental standards. It cleared its final legislative hurdle last week and is now on the governor’s desk.

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DWR as a Fail Organization

David Zetland:

This presentation [PDF] from California’s Department of Water Resources undermines unintentionally their claim to responsibility, competency and/or adequacy.

First is the fact that 81 taf of 612 taf of water transfers passed through the DWR-managed drought water bank. Thirteen percent isn’t very good, and here’s why they failed (no market solutions). FAIL.

Second is their “plan” for drought in 2010. Besides “pray for rain” (somehow omitted), they are hoping that the 20% by 2020 program and a website are going to promote water conservation (but no price solutions). FAIL.

Third is Lester Snow’s support of Schwarzenegger’s plan for more dams.* He sounds a lot less like a competent bureaucrat and a lot more like a political lapdog. Hey! The Gov is a lameduck! Can we get some professionalism here!??! FAIL.

Bottom Line: DWR is not managing our water resources. That sucks, since they have a monopoly on our water policy. (I am not even getting into groundwater!)

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Comment: Arnold can’t leave fast enough.

Calif. lawmakers pull $11B water bond from ballot

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

After some intense late-night vote wrangling, California lawmakers on Monday answered Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s call to pull an $11.1 billion water bond off the November ballot.

The Legislature narrowly passed two bills that would postpone the vote until 2012 and delay the terms of the nine members of the California Water Commission, which is tasked with allocating some of the bond funds.

The bills, AB1260 and AB1265, passed relatively easily through the state Senate, but ran into heavy opposition in the Assembly. It took several rounds of voting to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to pass AB1265, and there wasn’t a vote to spare.

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Comment: They should have left the bonds on the ballot, so they would lose.

Water bond opponents want to keep it on the ballot

The state Legislature may act Monday on bills that would yank an $11-billion water bond off the November ballot and delay it until 2012, but opponents are gearing up to quash the move.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) want to delay the measure, which faces difficulty passing this year because many voters are reluctant to approve more borrowing during the poor economy.

“The end goal is for it to pass,” said Alicia Trost, a spokeswoman for Steinberg. With California voters facing a lot of other issues, “including a long list of other measures on the November ballot, we strongly believe it should be delayed,” she said.

Two bills to pull it off the ballot and delay the measure are available for action when the Legislature convenes on Monday, which is the deadline for voter information guides on the November ballot to go to the printer.

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Legislation takes shape to postpone water bond

Lawmakers are set to vote next week on a set of bills that would move the $11.1 billion water bond to the 2012 general election ballot.

Two bills were amended Thursday in the Senate to push Proposition 18, currently slated for the Nov. 2 election, to the election on Nov. 6, 2012.

Assembly Bill 1265, by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, and Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, delays the water bond vote. A second bill, AB 1260, by Assemblywoman Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, would delay the terms for appointees to the California Water Commission, the body tasked with allocating some of the bond’s funds.

Read more: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2010/08/trost.html#ixzz0vrKGAcoI

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Actually, they should keep the bond on the ballot so voters can wipe it out.

Cal Senate hearing next week on Delta water report

The California Senate Select Committee on Delta Conservation, Conveyance and Governance, chaired by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, on Monday will listen to and question the scientists who wrote a report that says less water should be diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta if the estuary is to be restored.

It’s the first hearing by lawmakers since the State Water Control Board adopted a staff report on water flows in the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Western Hemisphere – and the major water source for 23 million Californians.

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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.

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.

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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Hollywood vs. water bond – Prop. 18

Governor Schwarzenegger is promoting Proposition 18, a massive $11 billion water bond to help big agribusiness at the expense of essential services. Sagging poll numbers have the Governor and legislative leaders trying to move the measure until 2012 when it might be more likely to pass.

But Governor Schwarzenegger isn’t the only celebrity weighing in on the future of the state’s water. We asked a few of our friends in Hollywood what they thought of the water bond and the prospect postponing it for two years. They all had the same reaction, and we captured it all on video.

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California’s Water Woes Continue

Written by  Cara Martinson    
July 22, 2010 

Cara Martinson is CSAC’s Legislative Analyst for Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more, visit The County Voice.

It may be near 100 degrees in Sacramento, but the rain seems to be falling on the water bond parade, as lawmakers attempt to delay the measure until the 2012 ballot.

Both Gov. Schwarzenegger and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg have urged the Legislature to delay the $11 billion general-obligation bond package, originally slated for the 2010 ballot. It’s a feat that would take a two-thirds vote of both legislative houses.

Bond supporters are concerned that voters, wearied by a bad economy and the state’s chronic budget crisis, might reject the bond this November. The bond was part of a comprehensive water package approved by the Governor in November 2009, and includes funding for drought relief, water supply projects, Delta sustainability, groundwater, and water storage and conservation projects.

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New law strengthens Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency

July 19, 2010, 03:30 AM

By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff
 
A new law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week strengthens a local water agency’s ability to obtain state grants and implement conversation projects.

The Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency will now be able to compete with other water distributors across the state for bond money related to maintaining infrastructure or conservation efforts.
Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, D-Redwood City, drafted the legislation, in part, because of Proposition 18, an $11 billion water bond measure on the November ballot.

The bond measure provides financing for a variety of projects, such as the construction of new dams, drought relief, habitat restoration, recycling, groundwater improvements, watershed restoration and infrastructure improvements.

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