by Katy Grimes, E&E Legal Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As Appearing in the California Globe
Of the 2014 voter-approved water bond, $2.7 billion for new water storage projects still unused
In 2014, California voters approved $7.12 billion in bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects. Of that, $2.7 billion was designated for water storage projects. But nearly 8 years later, there are no new dams or reservoirs, or other water storage projects to collect and store California’s winter runoff. And California is in yet another drought.
As California Rep. Tom McClintock has said for years, “Droughts are naturally occurring, water shortages are man-made.” He also has warned for many years, “We live in one of the most water-rich regions of the country – yet we have not built a major reservoir in this state since 1979. Meanwhile, the population has nearly doubled. The sad, simple fact is that we will NEVER solve our water problems until we start building new dams once again.”
Recently, Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), State Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), and Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Marysville) met at the top of the Oroville Dam to decry Governor Gavin Newsom’s “lack of leadership and gross mismanagement of the state’s water, power and forests/wildlands.” They demanded urgent action because Californians are suffering, and it’s about to get worse they warned.