The Assembly Democratic leadership has now added an extra $1 billion for storage projects like dams and reservoirs to its bond proposal in hopes of winning support of Republicans and Central Valley Democrats.
“These will all be open and competitive grants,” says Asm. Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), the proposal's author. “The whole point of this water bond package, from the outset, has been to stay away from specific earmarks.”
Asm. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) says that’s a good start - “I’m interested in creating wet water, and that means we have to do ground water storage, surface water storage, investment in the watersheds” - but he’s still concerned there’s no guarantee that future Democratic-controlled legislatures won’t spend the storage money elsewhere.
Meantime, environmental groups and Northern California Democrats aren’t on board with the Assembly proposal either. Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) represents the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region. She says she’s open to negotiating a solution to Dahle’s concern – but storage advocates must recognize they won’t get everything they want.
“They haven’t made any compromise as far as I can see. They still want the $3 billion that was in the ’09 bond. Well, we all have to compromise. And that’s going to be a central part of the negotiation,” Wolk says.
The challenge for lawmakers is to find a sweet spot: enough money for enough different kinds of projects to get the bond measure through the legislature, but not so pricey that voters will reject it this fall. The Assembly Democratic bond proposal is now up to $8 billion; its author says he wants to keep it below $10 billion.
(AP) - The drought that's gripping California is beginning to reshape the landscaping industry. Gov. Jerry Brown is calling for Californians to remove 50 million square feet of turf to save water.
California water regulators are praising some Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta farmers for coming up with a program to voluntarily cut water use.
(AP) - A deadly parasite is thriving in the drought, infecting all the juvenile chinook salmon in the Klamath River in Northern California as they prepare to migrate to the ocean.
The State Water Resources Control Board is considering whether to allow some farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to voluntarily cut back their water use. In exchange, they want the board to agree not to curtail their remaining water.
After it was called off in 2014 due to the drought, Old Town Sacramento's Gold Rush Days is back in 2015.