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Report Reveals Funding Gaps In Calif. Water Management

World Bank Photo Collection / Flickr
 

World Bank Photo Collection / Flickr

A new report says California would need an additional $2 to  $3 billion every year to fill gaps where funding is needed for managing the state’s water.

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.

PPIC Report: Paying For Water In California by CapRadio

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Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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