Article courtesy of Dan Bacher | September 12, 2014 | SF Bay Area Independent Media Center | Shared as educational material
Sacramento – Opponents of Prop. 1, the controversial State Water Bond, on Friday released their arguments against the $7.5 billion spending package for dams, bike trails in conservancies, and subsidies for huge agribusiness water-takers at a media teleconference on September 11.
Water experts argue that Prop 1 fails to provide the short-term drought relief and long-term sustainable water solutions taxpayers deserve.
“If California taxpayers are going to invest $7.5 billion—and that’s $14.4 billion with interest, they deserve real solutions,” says Carolee Krieger, executive director of California Water Impact Network. “Instead, Prop 1’s authors focus on building new dams while our reservoirs sit empty and the state’s water supply is over-committed by five times. Rather than focusing on storing water we don’t have, leaders should focus on funding real solutions that ensure an equitable supply of water.”
Opponents of Prop 1 say large-scale infrastructure projects like dams can’t possibly provide the quick drought relief Californians need.
“Even if there were water to fill the reservoirs created by new dams,” says Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, No on Prop 1 field director, “we all know that it will take years—maybe decades to permit and build them. If the water bond’s authors really want to address our water crisis, they should focus on funding to repair California’s crumbling water system, clean up municipal groundwater, and implement innovative programs that help agricultural, business and residential users track their water use and conserve. Prop 1 provides precious little funding for these priorities.”
“I have supported previous water bonds,” says Conner Everts, Executive Director of Southern California Watershed Alliance. “Starting in 1996 until 2006, California voters approved $11 Billion in water bonds. Money from those bonds is still being spent. In fact, $400 million of it is carried over to Proposition 1. That carry-over is more than the woefully inadequate amounts of $100 million for water conservation or $200 million for storm water programs Prop 1 offers. This water bond offers outdated approaches and funds the wrong priorities.”
Opponents of Proposition 1 also point out that much of the water envisioned by Prop 1’s authors would benefit very few Californians.
“Food & Water Watch opposes Proposition 1 as a waste of taxpayer resources to pay for new dams to satisfy the greed of a few corporate agricultural interests,” says Adam Scow, California Director at Food & Water Watch, which works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. “While California needs to make serious investments in fixing its aging water infrastructure, Prop 1 would stick Californians with $14 billion of debt for projects that mostly benefit special interests.”
Barrigan-Parrilla, added, “Proposition 1 is a corporate money grab aimed at bankrolling special interests with taxpayer dollars while providing tragically inadequate funding for projects that provide safe, clean water for the people of California. Proposition 1 is the wrong investment for California.”
For documents outlining the positions against Proposition 1 and No On Prop 1’s ideas about what the water bond should fund, please visit: http://www.noonprop1.org/solution.
Organizations opposing Proposition 1:
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
California Striped Bass Association
California Water Impact Network
Center for Biological Diversity
Central Delta Water Agency
Concerned Citizens Coalition of Stockton
Factory Farm Awareness Coalition
Friends of the River
Food and Water Watch
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
Restore the Delta
San Francisco Crab Boat Association
Sherman Island Duck Hunters Association
Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermens’ Association
South Delta Water Agency
Southern California Watershed Alliance
Winnemem Wintu Tribe