Flood protection, stormwater runoff, safe drinking water, are just some of the areas the PPIC report shows lack critical funding.
But report author Ellen Hanak says most of the financial gaps are the result of problems at the local level.
Five areas are most at risk. They include safe drinking water in poor communities, flood protection, stormwater runoff, aquatic ecosystem management and integrated water management.
She says voter approved statewide propositions that limit fee and tax assessments compromise local governments’ ability to manage water responsibly.
“We’re suggesting reforms some reforms that just give some more flexibility there, so that you’re still accountable and transparent but you have some more flexibility to manage the water resources the way they really should be managed.”
Hanak says some voter-approved propositions that limit fee and tax assessments compromise local governments’ ability to manage water.
She says funds from general obligation bonds would at best cover only half of the total spending gap.
“The areas where we found special problems are places where it’s very hard for local governments to raise that money because of special restrictions on fundraising in those areas.”
The PPIC study says based on recent spending patterns, funds from general obligation bonds can at best cover half of the total spending gap—even if a water bond passes this year.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
California and federal agencies say a new strategy is needed to save the endangered Delta smelt.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought. Although mandatory statewide water conservation is over, the State Water Resources Control Board says water conservation remains a "top priority."
The California Water Resources Control Board Wednesday says Californians cut water use by 28 percent in the final month of mandatory statewide conservation.