Friday, October 31, 2014 • 11:27
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Landmark legislation passed


August 20, 2014
The California Legislature this week passed bi-partisan, landmark legislation that marks the largest investment in the state's water infrastructure we have seen in decades! For us in inland San Diego and Riverside, water storage, recycling, advanced treatment and groundwater recharge projects designed to help the region weather the drought could compete for funding from the $7.5 billion bond measure that will go before voters in November.

Successful negotiations between Democrats, Republicans, the Governor and stakeholders resulted in a much paired down cost and more equitable funding for projects around the state. Positively, this bond will cost almost $4 billion less than what the 2009 Legislature agreed to. It will also make available nearly $1 billion more for water storage than the governor proposed last week. I fought hard to increase funding for water storage and recycling because that would best help our area.

The benefits to us locally include whole new potential funding for storage expansion at the Lake Wohlford reservoir in Escondido/Valley Center and also increased resources for water recycling and advanced treatment technologies which the farm community here could greatly benefit from. The bond includes $725 million which San Diego water suppliers could compete for water recycling efforts.

In Southwest Riverside, surface and underground water storage, including groundwater aquifer cleanup or recharge projects would be eligible for funding up to $480 million. This is in addition for other funding in the bond for groundwater contamination prevention and remediation.

This measure will help to attain a reliable water supply for millions of Californians for generations to come.

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Karen Bates