On August 13, 2014, the California Legislature successfully collaborated with Governor Jerry Brown to place a $7.5 billion water bond on the California ballot for voter approval in November. The new bond provides funding for various water supply development initiatives and could spur new opportunities and facilitate public investment in regional and local water supply projects, including those arising from public-private partnerships.
Of greatest interest is $2.7 billion set aside for Statewide Operational Improvement and Drought Preparedness. Use of funds in any specific project will face all the traditional permitting hurdles and legal challenges. However, if the bond were to pass, the funding could assist local agencies in developing their water supply portfolios to hedge against the risk of shortages in other sources of supply.
Scott Slater, CEO of Cadiz Inc., said about the new bond, “Cadiz believes that a portfolio of measures is required to responsibly reverse the continuing decline in California’s water infrastructure and reverse the trend towards long-term systemic water shortages. The approval and implementation of the Cadiz Project is not dependent upon public grants, loans or tax dollars in any way. However, the passage of the bond coupled with a successful application by one or more of the public partners in the Cadiz Project, may make previously unanticipated bond funding available to reduce their respective costs of participation.”
To learn more about the bond, visit: http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18653