The San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors has endorsed Proposition 50, the $3.4 billion state bond initiative that would provide funds to address economic and environmental concerns for the San Diego – Imperial County water transfer through Senate Bill 482 and Assembly Bill 1473. California voters will decide on this ballot initiative on November 5, 2002.
The two bills signed by Governor Gray Davis on September 16, provide up to $200 million dollars in public funding to address protection and restoration of the Salton Sea and economic incentives to Imperial Valley farmers who fallow land as part of the transfer agreement.
“The board recognizes that passage of Proposition 50 will provide additional financial resources that will help move the water transfer agreement forward,” said Jim Turner, chairman of the board of the Water Authority.
Specifically, SB 482 (Kuehl) would provide $50 million “…to assist in the implementation of the preferred alternative or other related restoration activities…at the Salton Sea or the lower Colorado River, or to assist in the development of a natural community Water Policy Committee conservation plan that is consistent with the initiative and that is implemented to effectuate the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA).”
SB 1473 (Machado) would provide $150 million “…for projects that facilitate water transfers pursuant to the QSA and that contribute to achieving the benchmarks of the Interim Surplus Guidelines, provided that the QSA is executed on or before December 31, 2002.”
Also of interest to the Water Authority is the funding that Proposition 50 would provide for CALFED, the state and federal partnership to restore the ecosystem and improve drinking water quality and the reliability of the State Water Project. Approximately 25 percent of San Diego County’s water supply comes from the State Water Project.
The San Diego County Water Authority is a public agency serving the San Diego region as a wholesale supplier of water from Northern California and the Colorado River. The Water Authority works through its 23 member agencies to provide a safe, reliable water supply to almost three million county residents.
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