The first ever proposed tax on water usage is making its way through the California State Assembly. SB623, the “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund” bill, would charge every household in the state an additional 95 cents a month, which would pay to operate treatment plants in rural areas where water is polluted. Under existing law, the California Drinking Water Act requires that the State Water Resources Control Board provide resources ensuring drinking water safety, and the tax would supply money for the fund to finance water improvement projects throughout the state.
Archive for date: April 26th, 2018
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Proposition 68 would allow California to sell $4.1 billion in bonds to pay for desperately needed improvements in parks and water systems. It’s a sound investment. Failing to upgrade our infrastructure now would likely mean higher costs in the future. The bond sale would, of course, require interest payments over the years, but they would appear to be well within the guidelines for prudent financing. Californians should vote yes. There are a lot of good things in this bond.
A lawyer with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office says the state, and for that matter most Colorado River Basin states and the federal government, are “not OK” with an Arizona water district’s reported strategy of avoiding conserving water so it can generate larger-than-normal releases of water from Lake Powell. Karen Kwon, who works on water issues for the office, was sharply critical of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District as she spoke in Grand Junction Wednesday at a joint meeting of four roundtable groups representing various basins of the Colorado River watershed in western Colorado.
The sausage-making process in the state Legislature usually takes a bill and waters it down in the spirit of compromise. So it was a pleasant surprise when the Legislature took Lake Oroville dam safety legislation and made it stronger. That happened Tuesday in the Capitol, and Assemblyman James Gallagher had to be pleased.
Here in the Bay Area, we’re surrounded by the bounties of nature – the mountains define our region, the beauty of our beaches is world renowned and the bay provides sweeping vistas that can make even the most seasoned travelers stop short. Yet, we understand that natural resource protection is a dynamic process and one that cannot rest in the face of the increasing threats of climate change and the uncertainty of federal government support.
“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water” — Benjamin Franklin. Cape Town, South Africa, faced a scary scenario last month: The city of 4 million residents was warned by officials of an impending “Day Zero” when they’ll run out of fresh water. We know a bit here about what that feels like! The Cape Town date has been mercifully pushed back to late August — and may be averted by seasonal rains.