November 5, 2014

California Passes Multi-Billion-Dollar Bond to Build a More Resilient Water System

Press Statement by Juliet Christian-Smith, Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists

OAKLAND, Calif. (November 5, 2014) — California voters yesterday approved a $7.5 billion water bond (Proposition 1), which will fund expanded water storage, water treatment and recycling projects as well as the restoration of diminished waterways.

The measure was passed during a record drought that has highlighted the weaknesses of California’s current water management system and the need to prepare for drier conditions in the future.

A total of $2.7 billion of the bond funds is dedicated to finance new water storage projects such as dams, reservoirs or replenishing groundwater reserves. Over the coming months, the California Water Commission will closely examine scientific evidence and economic factors to determine what types of storage projects provide the greatest “public benefit.”

Below is a statement by Juliet Christian-Smith:

“Developing a water system that is resilient to climate change is key to achieving long-term water security in California. With the state experiencing historically dry conditions that are likely to become more frequent with less snowpack and higher temperatures due to global warming, new water storage projects must be designed to perform well under these climate conditions.

“The Union of Concerned Scientists looks forward to working with the California Water Commission and other interested stakeholders to ensure that new infrastructure is developed that will enhance the reliability of the state’s water supplies. The current drought has taught us that we need to plan now for a changing climate and the implementation of this bond gives us a great opportunity to do that by incorporating the best available science.”

Contact: Debra Holtz, 510-409-7936 or ucscamedia@ucsusa.org

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.