On November 6, California voters will decide the fate of Proposition 3 (the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018), which authorizes the sale of $8.9 billion in new general obligation bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects. This includes funds – most of which would be distributed through grants – for various projects related to water supply, watershed health, flood management, groundwater, facility upgrades and fish and wildlife habitat. Many are confused about the bond, and numerous organizations have taken positions supporting or opposing it. We at the Pacific Institute, a California-based think-tank focused on water, are taking no formal position on Proposition 3, opting instead to offer the voting public some insights into its complexities.
California voters in November will decide whether or not to approve a controversial $8.9 billion bond measure for water-related projects like groundwater storage, water treatment and restoring protected habitats.
California needs clean, safe and reliable water supplies. We also would greatly benefit from the improved flood management Proposition 3 would provide. The measure on the Nov. 6 ballot includes $400 million to implement the Central Valley Flood Control Plan and repair Oroville Dam. Climate change is worsening the threat of floods. Sacramento is the nation’s second most flood-prone city after New Orleans. We need all the help we can get to improve our levees, widen the floodplain to accommodate higher Sacramento River flows and improve and repair upstream flood control dams such as Oroville.