Proposed Ballot Measure to Build More California Dams, Desalination Projects Likely to Be Withdrawn Due to Lack of Money and Signatures

Despite California’s drought, a proposed statewide November ballot measure to speed up the construction of new dams and other large water projects — and provide billions of dollars to fund them — has fallen short in its fundraising goals and is likely to be withdrawn by early next week.

The initiative would require that 2% of California’s general fund, or about $4 billion, be set aside every year to expand water supplies. Those could include new dams and reservoirs, desalination plants, recycled water plants and other projects such as upgrading canals and pipes. The measure also would streamline permitting for those projects.