It’s not often you find business groups, environmentalists, farmers, labor unions, taxpayer associations and water agencies , not to mention the Republicans and the Democrats , agreeing on anything, but Proposition 13 on the March 7 ballot is just such a rarity.
Prop. 13 , the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection and Flood Protection Bond Act , has received the support of all these groups and more because it is of vital importance to the continued well-being of California’s growing population and its economy.
The ballot measure calls for voter approval of the issuance of $1.97 billion in general obligation bonds to finance the upgrading of the state’s water treatment plants, expansion of water recycling efforts, construction of underground water storage facilities, improvement to aging sewage systems and improved flood control systems.
The end result of all this will be a safe, clean and reliable source of water for California , of which the state is in desperate need. Despite the recent heavy rains, the state Department of Water Resources predicts major shortages of pollution-free water in the coming years if major steps aren’t taken now.
Prop. 13 takes those steps with a comprehensive battle plan designed to protect the water we have, recycle the water we use, and increase the reliability of our water supply in the event of another drought. In fact, the program of new storage, conservation and expanded recycling promises to increase the state’s water supply by 1 million acre feet , enough to meet the needs of an additional 8 million residents during a dry year.
At the same time, it protects the quality of the state’s rivers, streams and coastal waters, as well as protects and restores fisheries and wildlife habitats.
The ballot measure offers all that without raising taxes, because the bonds issued to finance these improvements will be repaid with revenue from existing taxes.
The bulk of San Diego’s water is imported from the Colorado River and elsewhere. We sit at the end of a very long pipeline that is constantly being sucked at by growing communities to our north.
Even with the County Water Authority’s historic water purchase agreement with Imperial County, San Diego could be hard pressed to keep the faucets running in another drought. Prop. 13 would change that.
We urge a “Yes” vote on Proposition 13 on the March 7 ballot.