Prop 1: Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2012

Put on the Ballot by Legislature

66.8% YES
33.2% NO

Argument in Support of Proposition 1

YES ON PROPOSITION 1 ENSURES A RELIABLE WATER SUPPLY FOR FARMS AND BUSINESSES DURING SEVERE DROUGHT PROTECTING BOTH THE ECONOMY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

California is in a severe, multi-year drought and has an aging water infrastructure. That is why Republicans and Democrats and leaders from all over California came together in nearly unanimous fashion to place this fiscally responsible measure on the ballot.

YES ON 1 SUPPORTS A COMPREHENSIVE STATE WATER PLAN

  • Provides safe drinking water for all communities
  • Expands water storage capacity
  • Ensures that our farms and businesses get the water they need during dry years
  • Manages and prepares for droughts
  • Invests in water conservation, recycling and improved local water supplies
  • Increases flood protection
  • Funds groundwater cleanup
  • Cleans up polluted rivers and streams
  • Restores the environment for fish and wildlife

YES ON 1 IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE

Proposition 1 will not raise taxes. It is a no-frills investment in critical projects that doesn't break the bank ? it even reallocates money from unused bonds to make better use of the money.

YES ON 1 GROWS CALIFORNIA'S ECONOMY

California's economy depends on a reliable water supply. Proposition 1 secures our water future, keeps our family farms and businesses productive, and puts Californians to work building the new facilities we need to store, deliver and treat water.

YES ON 1 SAFEGUARDS OUR EXISTING WATER SUPPLIES

Proposition 1 will clean up our contaminated groundwater which serves as a critical buffer against drought by providing additional water in years when there is not enough rainfall or snow.

Proposition 1 expands water recycling and efficiency improvements making the best use of our existing supplies.

Proposition 1 provides funding for clean drinking water in communities where water is contaminated.

YES ON 1 - STORES WATER WHEN WE HAVE IT

Proposition 1 invests in new water storage increasing the amount of water that can be stored during wet years for the dry years that will continue to challenge California.

YES ON 1 PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

Proposition 1 protects California's rivers, lakes and streams from pollution and contamination and provides for the restoration of our fish and wildlife resources.

PROPOSITON 1 CONTAINS STRICT ACOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS INCLUDING ANNUAL AUDITS, OVERSIGHT AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE TO ENSURE THE MONEY IS PROPERLY SPENT.

YES ON 1 ? Supported by REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, FARMERS, LOCAL WATER SUPPLIERS, CONSERVATION GROUPS, BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS INCLUDING:

  • United States Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • United States Senator Barbara Boxer
  • Audubon California
  • California Chamber of Commerce
  • Delta Counties Coalition
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • American Rivers
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Friant Water Authority
  • San Diego Water Authority
  • Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Northern California Water Association
  • State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
  • Association of California Water Agencies
  • Fresno Irrigation District
  • Western Growers

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Paul Wenger, President, California Farm Bureau Federation
Mike Sweeney, California Director, The Nature Conservancy

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Rebuttal to Argument in Support of Proposition 1

Please vote NO on Proposition 1

Instead of focusing on making California's water use more efficient, fixing our aging and leaking water system and cleaning up our groundwater, Proposition 1 instead focuses on building more dams, at a cost of 2.7 billion dollars plus interest. These dams will only increase California's water supply by 1% and won't be usable for decades.

We need more water NOW, not in the distant future. The way to make this happen is to do the quickest and least expensive thing - - make better use of our existing water supply and create immediate long-term jobs.

Proposition 1 is unfair to taxpayers. If those who benefit and use the water won't pay for dams, why should taxpayers be stuck with paying the debt for these dams?

Proposition 1 does little for drought relief, fails to promote regional water self-sufficiency, or reduce dependency on the already water deprived Delta ecosystem.

Expensive new dams will increase pressure to divert new water from the Trinity, Klamath and Sacramento rivers at a time of prolonged drought and reduced flows. These rivers are critical habitat for endangered salmon that are important to all of California and the entire west coast.

  • Bad for the environment, our rivers and our salmon;
  • Does not produce new needed water NOW when we need it in the middle of a prolonged drought;
  • Unfair to tax payers; and
  • A bad deal for California.

Join us in voting NO on Proposition 1

Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro, Chair, Natural Resources Committee
Adam Scow, California Director, Food & Water Watch
Zeke Grader, Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Argument Against Proposition 1

While there are many good things in Proposition 1: Water conservation, efficiency reuse and recycling as well as restoration of our watersheds, the serious flaws outweigh the benefits to the people of California.

The water bond passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor has many attractive elements, but at the end of the day this bond measure is bad news for the people of California.

Proposition 1 wrongly focuses on building more dams. More than a third of the $7.5 billion total is earmarked for surface storage, which almost certainly will mean new dams ? increasing pressure to over pump and divert more water from Northern California Rivers including the Trinity, the Klamath and Sacramento Rivers. This places them at great risk at a time when a severe and prolonged drought has significantly reduced existing snow packs.

Furthermore, the $2.7 billion dollars for speculative new dams will not produce new water. All the most productive and cost-effective dam sites in California have already been developed. Proposition l's new dam projects increase California's total water supply by as little as 1%, while costing nearly $9 billion to build. These dams would not even be useable for decades.

In a major historic departure for water storage projects, the costs of these new dams and reservoirs will be paid from the state general fund and California taxpayers will share the burden of paying off bonds that will drain $500 million a year from the general fund.

It's an issue of fairness. The 1960 bond act that financed the State Water Project directed that beneficiaries pay those costs through their water rates. If private water users won't fund these projects on their own, taxpayers should not be required to underwrite their construction, and then purchase the water later at higher prices. Private water users who are the beneficiaries, not taxpayers, should pay for the cost of these projects.

As the drought deepens, the impact to Californians and fisheries along the California Coast will increase. Our northern rivers are some of the last remaining refuge for endangered salmon species that are on the brink of extinction. Additionally, our rivers provide important spawning habitat for fish that are important to the entire state, up and down the West Coast. This water bond short-changes both the North Coast and California.

Under Proposition 1, water Storage money would not be available for Central and North Coast regions. It restricts storage spending to benefit a limited geography in the state, mainly the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys and Southern California.

Proposition 1 is the wrong investment: it does little for drought relief in the near-term, doesn't adequately promote needed regional water self-sufficiency, or reduce dependency on an already water-deprived Delta ecosystem. As evidenced by shrinking reservoirs and collapsing aquifers, no amount of water storage will produce more rain and snow.

Please join us in voting no on Proposition 1.

Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro, Chair, Natural Resources Committee
Conner Everts, Executive Director, Southern California Watershed Alliance
Barbara Barrigan-Parilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 1

VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 1

The opponents distort the facts and completely ignore the devastating drought that makes this Water Bond absolutely necessary.

For decades, politicians argued about water while things got worse. But now, a real solution is at hand: Proposition 1-which is supported by Republicans, Democrats, businesses, farmers, environmentalists, labor and newspapers from every part of the state. It received overwhelming support from both parties, including a unanimous vote in the Senate. This has never happened before.

Our population has more than doubled since the California Water Project was launched, and we are facing one of the worst droughts in our history. No one doubts that California's water system is broken. It must be fixed!

Levees are failing, communities can't get safe drinking water, rivers are drying up and the farmers are hurting.

Proposition 1 is fiscally prudent. It doesn't raise taxes or fund pork projects. It pays for public benefits such as water quality, flood control and natural habitat.

Proposition 1 invests in the right things based on a balanced plan crafted by scientists, not politicians.

Water storage is key and we haven't added any new storage in 30 years. Proposition 1 carefully invests only in the most cost-effective storage projects.

Newspapers throughout the state support PROPOSITION 1:

It "successfully balances investments in water infrastructure and treatment that benefit all parts of the state ..." - San Francisco Chronicle.

"A bond proposal that will truly help solve the problems." - Modesto Bee.

Yes on PROPOSITION 1!

GOVERNOR EDMUND G. BROWN JR.

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

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