Sunday, August 31, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Water conflicts building in California for 2014

walters column sig

By
From page A11 | October 02, 2013 |

There is simply nothing more important to California’s future than an adequate and dependable supply of clean water.

Accordingly, there is simply nothing more complex than its water politics, as we are beginning to see as Gov. Jerry Brown, legislators and water stakeholders attempt to write a 2014 bond issue.

The Legislature and Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, wrote an $11.1 billion water bond issue four years ago as an adjunct to building an “alternative conveyance” for water through, around or under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

However, placing the bond issue before voters was postponed twice due to fears that it would be rejected due to its size and bits of pork that had nothing to do with water supply. It’s scheduled for the 2014 ballot, but that version is likely to be abandoned.

Smaller alternatives have been kicking around the Capitol, and it’s shaping up as a high-stakes battle, as a legislative hearing on the issue last week indicated. Legislators and the almost-countless water stakeholders jousted over minute details.

The Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee floated a $5 billion bond that would include additional funds for safe drinking water – a major issue for majority Democrats – and downsize other elements.

One of the earlier bond issue’s most controversial elements, a $3 billion allocation to begin pre-construction work on two new reservoirs and other surface and underground storage projects, was whittled down to just $1 billion, sparking an adverse reaction from their advocates.

Just before the Legislature adjourned for the year, Assembly leaders released a revised version, raising the bond to $6.5 billion and boosting storage money to $1.5 billion.

Most of the obvious pork is gone, but the revised bill still has money for California’s $250 million share of a bi-state agreement to remove some obsolescent power dams on the Klamath River belonging to billionaire Warren Buffett’s utility.

The Association of California Water Agencies, meanwhile, has proposed an $8.2 billion bond issue, while Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced a $6.5 billion bond measure that drops water storage funds to $1 billion and, unlike its rivals, keeps them under direct legislative control.

The reservoir money will continue to be a flash point next year, as will money seen as lubricant for the very controversial plan to bore two tunnels beneath the Delta for moving Sacramento River water to the head of the California Aqueduct near Tracy. Tunnel opponents will attempt to block any bond money that facilitates the project, thereby strangling it.

It’s anyone guess whether a bond can garner the two-thirds legislative vote to make the ballot. The Democrats’ supermajorities would mean little since water policy has almost nothing to do with party, and at least some Republican votes probably would be needed.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Reach him at dwalters@sacbee.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Nurse-family program helps moms, moms-to-be

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Garamendi ranks 6th on DC paper’s franking list

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Area service members promote, graduate

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

Fairfield payments to golf courses expected to drop

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

Suisun City police log: Aug. 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A6

 
.

US / World

Angels use 8 pitchers to beat A’s 2-0, extend lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Opinion

Thanks to Tomato Alley volunteers

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
No justice, peace without effort

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Faison identified location properly

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

1 God, 2 faiths, a marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2

 
Utah approves winery in town with polygamous sect

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

Wilder memoir to give gritty view of prairie life

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
Publisher acquires Robin Williams biography

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

Amazon starts selling physical books in Brazil

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
.

Sports

Prep football preview: Vacaville still team to beat in MEL

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Gordon says Stewart could run strong in Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Peavy takes no-hitter into 8th of Giants’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Suzann Pettersen tied for Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bob Tway shoots 63 for share of Calgary lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
With heavy heart, Kuchar hovers around the lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Isner loses to Kohlschreiber in US Open 3rd round; Serena advances

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Bocce Federation League results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

Bouhanni wins 8th Vuelta stage, Valverde leads

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Fighter War Machine extradited on assault charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3, 1 Comment

Timberwolves have record week after trading Love

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Schumacher wins Traxxas Nitro Shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Kevin Harvick dominates to win Atlanta Nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No. 11 Stanford routs UC Davis 45-0 in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

College football Top 25

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Raiders cut Little, Ross to get to 53

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Champ Bailey, Michael Sam among NFL cuts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
Jonathan Martin makes 49ers’ 53-man roster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

US dominates Finland 114-55 in basketball worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Ferguson fallout: A call for police ‘body cams’

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Earthquake insurance shunned by vast majority of Californians

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C1

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
.

Obituaries

Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

 
.

Comics