Proposition 1 - The Water Bond - Fact Sheet

Like many environmental groups, The Bay Institute supports Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. The $7.5 billion bond will help upgrade water quality and wastewater treatment for small towns and disadvantaged communities, improve flood protection, clean up and expand groundwater supplies, support water recycling programs, and fund habitat restoration projects throughout the state. 
Prop. 1’s most controversial provision, $2.7 billion for new water storage, would establish a competitive process to evaluate and select new surface and/or groundwater storage projects, and require both a 50% non-state cost share and demonstrable benefits for the ecosystem. Using these criteria, most new surface storage reservoirs are too expensive and produce too little new water supply to be competitive. If the voters approve Prop. 1, The Bay Institute will work to ensure that the process for evaluating and selecting new storage projects uses rigorous cost-benefit screening criteria and quantitative ecosystem metrics to demonstrate environmental benefits.
We do believe, however, that in the future California needs to move away from relying on general obligation bond revenues to underwrite investments in the water management system and instead allocate costs directly to project beneficiaries through user fees, rate structures, and other mechanisms.
Here’s more detail on the provisions of Prop. 1:

Clean, Safe, and Reliable Drinking Water ($520 Million)
  • $260 Million 
    • Small community wastewater treatment (State Water Board Special Fund)
    • Priority for disadvantaged communities and public health hazards
  • $260 Million 
    • Safe and affordable drinking water (State Water Board)
    • Priority for disadvantaged communities
    • $25 million for technical assistance program
    • $2.5 million for disadvantaged community matching funds
  • Other specific provisions to aid disadvantaged and severly disadvantaged communities
    • Cost sharing requirement (generally 50% may be reduced or waived
    • Minimum 10% for severely disadvantaged communities
    • 15% of funding allowed for technical assistance
    • Technical assistance proportaion may exceed 15% of grant
Protecting Rivers, Lakes, Coastal Waters, and Watersheds ($1.495 Billion)
  • $327.5 Million - Multibenefit watershed projects (State Conservancies)
  • $200 Million - Projects to enhance stream flows (Wildlife Conservation Board)
  • $100 Million - Urban creek restoration, including the Los Angeles River
  • $20 Million - Multibenefit watershed projects (Natural Resources Agency)
  • $475 Million - State obligations in water-related settlements (Natural Resources Agency)
  • $285 Million - Statewide watershed restoration projects (Dept. of Fish & Wildlife)
  • $87.5 Million - Delta water quality and ecosystem restoration (Dept. of Fish & Wildlife)
Regional Water Security, Climate, and Drought Preparedness ($810 Million)
  • $510 Million - By California Water Plan hydrolic regions (Dept. of Water Resources)
  • $100 Million - Urban and agricultural water conservation
  • $200 Million - Stormwater management
Statewide Water Storage ($2.7 Billion) (California Water Commission)
  • Continuous Appropriation
  • Funds public benefits of surface water reservoirs and groundwater aquifers
  • Requires 50% non-State cost-share
  • Requires ecosystem improvements for Delta or Delta tributaries
Water Recycling ($725 Million)
  • Broad range of potential projects - including desalination and water quality
  • Requires 50% non-State cost-share (less for disadvantaged communities)
Groundwater Sustainability and Cleanup ($900 Million)
  • $100 Million - Groundwater sustainability planning and projects
  • $80 Million - Groundwater cleanup for drinking water sources
  • Requires 50% non-State cost-share (less for disadvantaged communities)
Statewide Flood Management ($395 Million) (Dept. of Water Resources/Central Valley Flood Protection Board)
  • $295 Million - Delta levee maintenance and improvements
  • $100 Million - Multibenefit projects to achieve public safety and enhance fish/wildlife

$7.545 Billion for Next-Generation Water Infrastructure

Invests in the Next-Generation of Water Infrastructure
  • Promotes New Technology - priority for "new or innovative technology"
  • Funds Projects for the Future - water conservation, recycling, desalination
  • Addresses Emerging Water Challenges - stormwater, groundwater cleanup
  • Increases Regional Self-Reliance for Water Supply
  • Encourages Cross-Agency Collaboration to Set Top Investment Priorities
Improves Drinking Water Quality Statewide
  • Commits more than $1 BILLION to Improving Water Quality
  • Restores Source Water Quality in Upstream Watersheds
  • Allows Water Quality Projects in Several Categories
    • Safe Drinking Water
    • Recycled Water
    • Regional Water Security
    • Protecting Rivers
    • Groundwater Sustainability
Protects California's Water Environment
  • Restores Watersheds That Provide California's Water Supply
  • Allocates $1.495 Billion to Protect Rivers, Coast, and Watersheds
  • Funds Ecosystem Restoration Projects - The Delta, Watersheds, The Coast
Eliminates "Pork" Projects from Bond Funding - Reduces Bond $3.5+ Billion
  • Deleted Project-Specific Allocations from Previous Water Bond
  • Limits Allocations to Specific Agencies with Defined Water Purposes
  • Prohibits Legislature from Appropriating Money to Pet Projects
  • Reduced Water Bond by 1/3 - $11.14 billion to $7.545 billion
Protects Disadvantaged Communities Most at Risk
  • Allows Smaller Local Contributions for Water Quality Projects
  • Creates Technical Assistance Program for Disadvantaged Communities
  • Prioritizes State Funding on Needs of Disadvantaged Communities
Ensures Accountability of State Expenditures
  • Requires Audits and Public Reporting of Water Bond Expenditures
  • Establishes Competitive Grant Programs - with public guidelines
  • Requires Formal and Public Process for Water Transfers