ON NOVEMBER 6, California voters will decide the fate of Proposition 3 (the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018), which authorizes the sale of $8.9 billion in new general obligation bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects. This includes funds – most of which would be distributed through grants – for various projects related to water supply, watershed health, flood management, groundwater, facility upgrades and fish and wildlife habitat.
Many are confused about the bond, and numerous organizations have taken positions supporting or opposing it. We at the Pacific Institute, a California-based think-tank focused on water, are taking no formal position on Proposition 3, opting instead to offer the voting public some insights into its complexities.
For context, California has authorized approximately $60 billion (in 2018 dollars) in water-related bonds since 1960. If passed, Prop. 3 would be the fourth-largest water bond in California history. Further, the combination of Prop. 68 (approved by voters in June 2018) and Prop. 3 would make 2018 the second-highest funding year for water-related bonds in the state’s history. The largest authorization was in 1960, when California voters approved construction of the State Water Project.
Source: Heather Cooley, Sonali Abraham, Sarah Diringer and Cora Kammeyer, Water Deeply, October 29, 2018