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Measure provides comprehensive first step in solving Golden State’s long-term water issues
The California legislature reached a bipartisan agreement with Gov. Brown to place a $7.5 billion comprehensive water bond on the November ballot.
The agreement comes after 13 days of intense negotiations between California lawmakers, water districts and representatives of the agricultural, environmental and business communities, including the California Water Alliance (CalWA).
“This pact is significant on many levels,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, executive director for CalWA. “Most importantly it recognizes that Californians statewide, from all walks of life, cannot afford to carry the burden of a dysfunctional water policy that has been exacerbated by the worst drought in California history.”
The drought, she said, has resulted in dramatic levels of unemployment, higher food prices, increased utility costs, water rationing and the crippling of California’s farms, many of which have had to fallow thousands of acres.
"Passing this bi-partisan water bond is the critical first step that Californians need to see towards leading the state out of this crisis,” Bettencourt said. “This bond provides the means to begin upgrading California's water system for the 21st century, including new storage facilities and clean water projects for underprivileged communities.