Working alongside Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) announced on Thursday that the two are introducing a bill to put a water bond on the November ballot for voters who want to prioritize water storage, clean drinking water and Delta sustainability.
The legislation, SB 927 also known as the "Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2014", narrows down the water bond negotiated by the California Legislature in 2009, focusing on essential water projects to better move, store and clean water.
"During our driest year on record, California must invest in increasing our water supply," said Cannella. "It was just four years ago when we faced a similar situation and, if we do not act this year, our problems will grow."
The bond, if approved by California voters, would increase the amount of funds available for emergency and urgent actions to ensure safe drinking water supplies in disadvantaged communities and economically distressed areas.
According to Cannella, the existing law has raised concerns that the cost of the current $11.1 billion water bond is too high while containing too many earmarked regional projects.
With SB 927, a $9.2 billion water bond will be offered, and, although some cuts were made, would maintain $3 billion for water storage, $2.5 billion to protect the Delta water supply, and $1 billion for clean drinking water. Additionally, the previous amount available of $100 million for disadvantaged communities would be boosted to $400 million.
"Water is life, it's food, it's jobs. It's a crying shame to let precious water wash out to sea," said Vidak. "It's time for leadership, not delay. It's time Sacramento made water storage and access to clean drinking water a state priority."