Something like that seems to be happening in California water policy. Two measures could help our state make great strides forward: SB 1XX (Perata) would spend money that Californians already voted to spend, in a way that would clean our aquifers, encourage better planning for our state's existing water resources and. and stimulate our state's economy. Meanwhile, AB 2175 (Laird) would set strong conservation goals for Californians, effectively giving us "free water."
Both Senate President Don Perata and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass spoke out in favor of these proposals today, flanked by a sizeable turnout of California lawmakers. It was part of a response to last week's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposal for $9 billion in new water bond spending.
"It's imperative that we get to work immediately improving water conservation, water storage and water management -- and that's exactly what these two bills do," Bass said of the proposals. "This package sets a realistic target for boosting water conservation and uses already approved bond money to make big improvements in California's water system."As Sierra Club California's Jim Metropulos has said, the governor's proposal represents more of the same for California. Instead of embracing 21st-century solutions, it looks to our dam-building past, proposing an expensive, unproven solution to our current water shortage.
Here's some recent coverage of California's water woes: