Under the fig leaf of trying to kill the state’s High Speed Rail project, a powerful group of special interests is proposing a ballot measure for November 2016 that would rewrite the California Constitution to benefit their bottom line. It reprioritizes who gets water in the state, giving first dibs of more $10.7 billion to the large agricultural interests in the Central Valley bankrolling this initiative. The measure is opposed by a broad coalition of farmers, fishermen, families, labor, conservationists and community leaders.
- Rewrites the state’s water laws, reprioritizing them to serve the needs of big water users in the Central Valley while reducing available water supplies for the rest of us.
- Undermines the overwhelming vote of Californians and a bipartisan majority in the Legislature in 2014 on Proposition 1 (the Water Bond) by shifting billions in state funds to address the drought and future water supplies to the special interests behind the initiative.
- Could result in sharp cost increases for many California water users because, according to the nonpartisan LAO, the overall net cost impact of the initiative is “unknown.”
- Would likely force the rewrite of many of California’s water laws that the LAO says could result in costly and lengthy legal battles, increasing taxpayer and water user costs.
- Creates new and unnecessary bureaucracies by abandoning the current California Water Commission and creating a new “State Water Storage and Groundwater Storage Facilities Authority.”
- Could force local water systems and private water companies to change the way they allocate their water and how they operate their systems, likely resulting in rate hikes for millions of Californians.
- Could force the state to pay billions in grants back to the federal government.
- Puts fisheries and other endangered wildlife at risk and abolishes voterapproved laws requiring environmental benefits from water projects.
Northern California Water Association – The Dam-Train Initiative is Misleading: Read How it Will Affect Water Rights and Delay New Water Supplies!