Water Agencies Welcome Calif. Water Bond Proposal

Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Executive Director Timothy Quinn on July 10 welcomed a move by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein to jumpstart negotiations to put a comprehensive water bond package on the November ballot.

The two officials sent legislative leaders a compromise bond proposal aimed at addressing the state's worsening water crisis.

"We strongly support this latest bipartisan effort to kick-start negotiations on a comprehensive water bond," Quinn said. "California is in the most severe water crisis in recent history, and there is literally no time to waste. It's hugely important that we have a specific, bipartisan proposal on the table as something we can negotiate around.

"While we have not had time to analyze this proposal in depth, it appears to be close to the mark in terms of comprehensively addressing the state's water needs. We urge the legislature to move ahead with its negotiations."

ACWA has long called for a comprehensive water bond package to improve the sustainability of the state's water system and increase local water supply reliability. The package must include funding for local water resources development, improvements to the current system for conveying water through the troubled Delta, and a financial commitment to fund the public benefits of expanded water storage capacity.

Quinn said that while a water bond package is critical to achieving long-term solutions, the legislature also must move to immediately appropriate funding for critical projects already authorized under Proposition 84, Proposition 50, and Proposition 1E. The funding should be disbursed to local water agencies swiftly to allow conservation, recycling, and other projects to proceed as soon as possible.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90 percent of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit www.acwa.com.

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