Will Prop 1 Really Prop Up Our Water Supply?

California is experiencing its worst drought in recorded history. Something needs to be done!

Let’s take a moment to look at Prop 1 to determine if approving this Proposition is really the solution.

Proposed Solution; Perhaps we should spend $7,500,000,000, (actually $14,400,000,000 after repaying the bond with interest), to dismantle four dams that also serve as hydroelectric plants. Of course, we will have to subsidize the jobs that will be lost and the replace the electricity the plants are producing.

Proposition 1 will do just that. It will also funnel more money into the Jerry Brown tunnels that propose to supply Southern California with the water from the Sacramento River. The tunneling of water away from the delta would allow salt water to enter the delta, endangering the salmon spawning run and destroying farmland that supplies one third of America’s produce.

If this was really going to solve California’s water woes, this could be a necessary sacrifice. Since California is known for its spending efficiency (laugh track), we can be sure that the hefty price tag, environmental damage to farmlands, and loss of jobs will be balanced with the drought solution Prop 1 is offering.
The “solution” will increase California’s water storage by an astounding…..1%.

We need only examine the past to evaluate the future. The quote “the further back you look, the further ahead you can see” is one of my favorites. There have been six propositions between 2000 and 2006 concerning California’s water crisis. They are propositions 84, 1E, 40, 50, 12, and 13. Despite the alleged pros and cons and the millions of dollars spent to woo public opinion, there is no better barometer than the bottom line to determine value vs. price tag.

Using the data from the Public Policy Institute of California’s report, “Paying for Water in California- Technical Appendices”, I have evaluated the percentage of dollars that have been allocated to water storage and potable water quality.

The results are less than impressive. In fact, they are an embarrassment.

Here are some highlights from the Technical Appendices;
Of the 19,588,000,000 spent on the bonds,
9% 1,343,000  was spent on drinking water quality
7%  1,093,000 was spent on water storage
22 % of these funds were authorized for parks and recreation-oriented activities not directly related to water.
“Bond debt repayment on water bonds has also been increasing since 2000 and is expected to reach over $1 billion annually by 2014. We estimate there are enough bond funds remaining to maintain recent spending levels for several years. However, in 2013, debt service on water and natural resource bonds surpassed new expenditures in this sector.”

blog graph prop1 2

Does a $14.4 billion expenditure over 10 – 15 years to increase our water storage by 1% sound like a reasonable plan? Especially when you take into consideration the overwhelming debt Californians are already facing.


No on Prop 1% !



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