Proposition 3 improves water quality

Statewide water bond to be on November ballot for vote

■ By Matteo Crow / Contributed

Voters in the San Jacinto Valley area should pay close attention to Proposition 3, a statewide water bond on the November ballot.
Finally, we have a water bond that recognizes how fire affects our watersheds, and provides funding to both prevent fires and treat burned areas after fires pass through. Proposition 3 includes $50 million for Cal Fire to improve our watersheds, reduce fire danger, remove hazardous trees, thin regrowth after fires, and otherwise restore our watershed.
California is completely dependent on a clean, safe, and reliable water supply. We live in a state prone to drought, wildfire, and floods and our water supply must be managed properly to meet these challenges. Our state’s economy and population continue to grow, as do the water needs of urban and rural communities, agricultural, and fish and wildlife.
Hundreds of thousands of people in California don’t have a safe drinking water supply. Proposition 3 includes $750 million to help solve these problems, as well as $640 million to restore groundwater basins such as areas of our local San Jacinto basin, a basin deemed “high priority” by the state. Proposition 3 will provide enough water to meet the water needs of more than three million families in California.
Proposition 3 also makes key investments in the mountain watersheds that are the source of our water. Fire is transforming our watersheds, degrading water quality and reducing available water supply. Proposition 3 devotes more than two billion dollars to restoring those landscape, and improving water quality and quantity. Funds will be used to reduce fire danger, and to repair fire-damaged watersheds.
This water bond will repair failing surface and underground water storage and conveyance facilities. It develops new water through such proven methods as recycling of wastewater for irrigation and industry, desalting, capture of stormwater and water conservation. Funding for fish and wildlife habitat protection and restoration is included as well.
Other programs in Proposition 3 include urban stream restoration; river parkways; and improvement of water quality in local rivers, streams and coastal waters. Proposition 3 will prepare us for the next inevitable drought by improving the reliability of our local water supplies and giving local water providers the flexibility to deal with changing water supply conditions.
California’s economy is booming and the state can easily afford Proposition 3. Our state’s credit rating has vastly improved since the recession, the state has a large budget surplus and only a few bond acts have been presented to the voters in recent years, leaving room for the water bond. Proposition 3 does not raise taxes.
The business community, including the California Chamber of Commerce, California Business Properties, California Building Industry Association and many regional groups are all in favor of this proposition.
Environmental groups support the proposition, such as the National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, Planning and Conservation League, Ducks Unlimited, Save the Bay, California Trout, and California Waterfowl Association. These groups work on the ground to improve the quality of life within the local community. Senator Dianne Feinstein and GOP candidate for Governor John Cox also support.
Prop. 3 is endorsed by local water agencies like the Eastern Municipal Water District, Western Municipal Water District, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Southern California Water Coalition, and Inland Empire Riverkeeper.
This is a chance to improve the reliability of our community’s water supply, and enjoy higher quality water in our rivers, streams and ocean. Learn more at www.waterbond.org.

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