Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Water For ALL!

Protesting Governor Schwarzenegger and Senator Feinstein’s push for a November water bond, community groups throughout California rallied yesterday to expose the proposal’s failure to provide long-term and equitable solutions to California’s water problems. Community groups oppose the bond and are calling for immediate action from the Legislature to distribute existing bond funds that have sat unspent since 2006.

“Our communities are struggling as budget cuts dry up state support for our health, education and infrastructure programs. Now the governor is asking Californians to repay another $9.2 billion dollar water bond? We simply cannot afford to do that,” stated Debbie Davis, legislative analyst for the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. “Ironically, this bond is called the ‘Safe Drinking Water Act,’ but it does nothing to address the drinking water crisis in thousands of communities in California.

"Our communities need funding for programs that help provide safe, clean drinking water. Despite a $9.2 billion dollar price tag, this bond doesn’t deliver.”

California’s recent drought has exacerbated water problems throughout the state, ranging from a lack of clean drinking water for rural communities to the collapse of the Delta ecosystem. Instead of creating new management solutions to old problems, the bond provides funding for the same types of projects that have already pushed California’s water system to the brink. Proposed dams and surface water storage would take decades to put in place, and most profit special interests.

“We have a water crisis today. This proposed bond wastes $3 billion on projects that will take decades to produce a drop of water,” said Jim Metropulos, Sierra Club California's Senior Advocate. "We don't need 19th-century solutions to today's problems."

Metropulos, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter staff and others called on the Legislature and the Governor to pass SB 1XX (Perata, Machado and Steinberg), releasing unspent funds from Proposition 84, passed in 2006. Over $800 million is being held hostage as leverage for a wasteful water bond.

The Legislature reportedly has until the end of this week to vote the water bond onto the ballot.

Information and images courtesy Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and Planning and Conservation League.

1 comment:

B said...

The big contractors and business types, of course, are the real beneficiaries behind the dams.

The governor won't even say which rivers would be damned!

This plan deserve a bit of sunlight - let's have public hearings (none so far!) and explain why we taxpayers should have to spend $20 BILLION or so (including interest) to subsidize Big Ag, developers, etc.

Why don't they cover the Calif Aqueduct, stop the evaporation and other water wastage? My neighbors still hose off their driveways. Why do we still have new golf courses in the desert?