FALLBROOK – An $11.14 billion water bond up for voter approval on the November 2010 ballot, was given a nod of support last week by the Fallbrook Public Utility District’s board of directors.
The board voted to adopt Resolution No. 4678, supporting the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010, a bond measure that would provide funding for California’s aging water structure, particularly in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. The delta is the hub of the state’s water system.
If approved by voters, the bond money would also fund projects and programs to improve water supply reliability, build new reservoirs to contain the water collected in wet years, improve the operation of the state’s water infrastructure, expand water conservation and recycling, and protect groundwater and watersheds.
It includes funding for all regions of California, including San Diego County.
The bond measure was approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in November 2009, noting that the delta needs to be fixed. The measure is part of a landmark legislative package.
“The Delta is broken and we’ve got to fix it,” said FPUD board president Keith Battle. “Much of the drought that we’re in right now is completely manmade. It’s a result of our broken water system, and the list of challenges is growing. This bond will fund critical changes needed to fix the Delta and protect our water supply. If it isn’t fixed, this situation is only going to get worse.”
Originally built to serve a population of 18 million, the delta is struggling to meet today’s needs. There is an urgent need to reinvest in the system so future generations of Californians will have the reliable water supplies they’ll need.
California’s water shortages stem from two problems: years of below-average rainfall, as well as court-ordered pumping restrictions on the massive delta in an effort to protect endangered fish. The Delta is the largest estuary on the West Coast, but it also provides fresh water to two-thirds of California’s residents and irrigates thousands of acres of cropland.
Due to the federal restrictions, only 15 percent of the water needed is currently being pumped out of the Delta. The shortages have caused economic distress on farmers as they watch their parched farmland lay idle. California produces half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. The pumping restrictions have put thousands of jobs and local economies at risk.