The state Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee voted 6-0 Tuesday to approve a $6.895 billion water bond proposed by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, to address statewide water needs.
Senate Bill 848, also known as “The Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality & Water Supply Act,” would replace the $11.14 billion water bond slated for the November ballot. SB 848 is the first proposal to replace the existing bond to receive a committee vote.
“The existing water bond is too expensive, too controversial and too weighed down with earmarks to garner voter support,” Wolk said. “SB 848 is a more sensible bond that focuses on effective, broadly supported solutions to our most critical water needs, while avoiding controversy and earmarks.
“SB 848 also focuses on shovel-ready projects that will start producing results immediately,” she continued. “As the Legislature works to address our current drought and prepare the state for our changing climate, we must invest in projects that can make a difference in the next five to 10 years.”
SB 848 provides funding for projects including water supply reliability, water treatment for communities without safe drinking water and the crisis in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The bill also includes incentives to help reduce reliance on the state’s most stressed watersheds, and directs funding to development of regional water supplies that are resilient to climate change.