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Hesitation shows its flaws

Posted: March 3, 2010 3:53 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Castaic Lake Water Agency board of directors’ decision to table a vote to back the proposed 2010 water bond has implications that reach far beyond our community. Across the state, water agencies and professionals familiar with the crisis are greeting the state Legislature’s proposal very coolly.

The problem lies not so much with what is in the proposed ballot initiative (though the word “pork” comes to mind) but with what is not in it.

The new form of water conveyance that California needs to build in order to sustain delivery of water from Northern California to all parts south is barely mentioned in the $11 billion “Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Act of 2010.”

It’s true that the initiative would correct some critical deficiencies in the Delta system and includes about $3 billion for additional water storage facilities — a key part of any water conveyance solution — but includes no money and no plan for a new form of water conveyance.

My friend B.J. Atkins is correct to point out that the bond would be a first step on the way to a solution, but I question whether or not step one even has a chance of passing.

With little or no support from labor unions, businesses or frankly even the environmental lobby, who is going to pay for the massive amount of advertising that will be needed to familiarize voters with the initiative and convince them to support yet another unfunded indebtedness in these hard economic times?


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