By Steven M. Anderson
On Tuesday, California voters will decide whether to adopt Proposition 1. The proposition called the Water, Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2o14 - would make S7.5 billion available for urgently needed for water storage, infrastructure rehabilitation, and other projects, many of which have taken on new importance given current drought conditions. A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll found that 56 percent of potential voters support Prop. 1, while only 32 percent oppose.
Prop. 1, if approved, will authorize the state to issue bonds and prepare guidelines regarding the projects that will be eligible for a share of the S7.5 billion. The water bond replaces a previous $7.5 billion water bond proposal that never made it to the ballot.
If the water bond is adopted, projects that leverage private, federal or local funding, or projects that produce the greatest public benefit, will get funding priority. Projects that employ new or innovative technologies or practices will get special consideration. In addition, substantial bond funding is reserved for disadvantaged communities and economically distressed areas. The water bond may also support projects that lack multiple sources of funding (i.e., those without local matching funding).
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