Earlier this year, the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), of which Calaveras County is a member, took a support position on a bond proposal to invest in California’s water infrastructure.
Proposition 3, the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018, is a citizen’s initiative water bond that will appear on the November 2018 statewide California ballot.
This initiative provides us a unique opportunity to invest in projects that will serve our local communities for a variety of purposes, including forest and watershed improvements ($300 million), Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation ($640 million), flood plan implementation ($150 million) and agricultural land protection.
As Vice Chair of RCRC’s Water and Natural Resources Committee, I have become well-versed in the challenges associated with one of the state’s most precious and valued resources. The last five years have revealed the new normal for California’s rural communities – devastating wildfires, prolonged drought, rain and snowstorms and record summer heat all point to the need to invest in our state’s ability to withstand these events.
If we don’t take the opportunity to empower ourselves now, we’ll pay dearly later.
More specifically, Proposition 3 provides direct investments to our region. Together, these investments yield the dual benefits of an improved water supply and water quality, and reduce the threat of wildfire in our local communities. In addition to these projects, Proposition 3 includes a number of other funding areas, including programs to address safe drinking water, fisheries and wildlife protection, and other grant funds that could be used to develop local resiliency and help our local water districts, resource conservation districts and other agencies with the projects they need to improve our water supply and working lands.
Proposition 3 is not a divisive partisan issue. This measure is supported by groups across the political spectrum because water is important to every Californian, regardless of geography. Proposition 3 has the potential to improve water supplies and fire safety for our rural communities, farmers and the environment, to the benefit of the state as a whole.
In addition to RCRC, the measure is supported by Association of California Water Agencies, California State Association of Counties, California Chamber of Commerce, National Wildlife Federation, California Farm Bureau Federation, Senator Feinstein, GOP candidate for Governor John Cox and many regional groups and individual counties.
Proposition 3 is crucial to both our local community, and the state as a whole, and includes dedicated funding for the regions that need it the most.
I encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 3.
Jack Garamendi is the Calaveras County District 2 Supervisor.