Historically, the State has used pubic funds for water-related activities, including: providing services that would not otherwise be provided privately; subsidizing activities to address ability-to-pay issues;  administering a program at the State level because of economies of scale or other efficiencies available to the state; and, water related activities with a significant public purpose such as planning and management of the statewide water system, broadening access to necessary water services, ecosystem improvements, management of water-related risks and major public emergencies, and water system changes that improve recreational opportunities.

During water negotiations, RCRC’s water bond priorities (based upon RCRC adopted policy principles) included:

  • Inclusion of water rights and area of origin protections;
  • Funding for public benefits associated with water storage projects;
  • Funding for small community wastewater treatment projects;
  • Funding for disadvantaged communities and economically distressed areas;
  • Funding for public benefits associated with Delta sustainability;
  • Funding for ecosystem and watershed protection projects; and,
  • Funding for groundwater protection.

Proposition 1 – the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (approved by voters in November 2014), will authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $7.120 billion, and the reallocation of $425 million of the unissued bonds authorized by Propositions 1E, 13, 44, 50, 85 and 204.  Proposition 1 will provide funding for a variety of water-related programs and projects.

Proposition 1 is the result of years of discussions among State lawmakers and stakeholders to craft a bond measure to provide funding for surface and groundwater storage projects, regional water reliability, sustainable groundwater management and  water cleanup, water recycling, water conservation, and safe drinking water, with a particular emphasis on assistance for disadvantaged communities.  Legislation placing Proposition 1 on the November 2014 ballot was approved on a near unanimous, bipartisan vote by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown on August 13, 2014.

The RCRC Board of Directors took a support position on Proposition 1 at the September 2014 Board Meeting.

Staff:  Mary-Ann Warmerdam