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.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
California wildfires have burned nearly five times as many acres on state land this year compared to the same time period last year.
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