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Securing our Water Future: The Call for a $9.5 Billion Climate Resilience Bond

April 8, 2024


As California continues to navigate through the complexities of climate change, the reality of our water vulnerability has never been more apparent. The Southern California Water Coalition, along with a united front of environmental and water organizations, is spearheading an ambitious proposal to address the state’s critical water infrastructure needs. This blog describes our call for a $9.5 billion climate resilience bond in the 2024 general election ballot, aimed at fortifying California’s water systems against the looming threats of drought and floods.

The Urgent Need for Resilience

California’s reliance on rain and snow-based water systems, coupled with aging infrastructure, has placed us at a heightened risk of catastrophic disruptions. Our letter to Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders outlines a vision for a sustainable future where water security is a reality for all Californians, especially our most vulnerable communities. Our proposal highlights the essential need for investments across a spectrum of water-related initiatives, from recycled water projects to dam safety and coastal resilience.

At the heart of our proposal is the recognition that water resilience must go hand in hand with equity. Disadvantaged communities across California bear the brunt of water insecurities and climate impacts. Our investment priorities are designed not only to enhance the state’s capacity to manage water resources efficiently but also to ensure equitable access to clean, safe water. By directing funds towards projects that serve communities of color and address the affordability gap, we aim to build a more inclusive approach to water management.

Organizations that have signed this letter are Bay Area Council, Southern California Water Coalition, Water Blueprint for San Joaquin Valley, Groundswell, Industrial Environmental Association, RebuildSoCal Partnership, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, SCV Water, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Mojave Water Agency, Southern California Leadership Council, WateReuse California, BizFed, Association of California Cities Orange County, Metropolitan Water District, Secure Water Alliance, Community Build, Valley Water, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and Orange County Business Council.

Breakdown of the $9.5 Billion Investment

The proposed $9.5 billion bond encompasses a range of projects essential for bolstering California’s water resilience:

  • Recycled Water Projects: $1.8 billion to increase recycled water supply and support drought resilience.
  • Regional Water Resilience: $2.25 billion for conservation, efficiency, and storage initiatives.
  • Dam Safety and Reservoir Operations: $850 million to address critical infrastructure needs.
  • Surface Water Storage Adjustments: $500 million to make necessary inflation adjustments.
  • State Water Project Enhancements: $1.5 billion to improve water supply and delivery capabilities.
  • Clean Water Initiatives: $500 million for contaminant prevention and clean water access.
  • Urban and Coastal Flood Resilience: $2 billion to mitigate flood risks and protect coastal communities.
  • Multi-Benefit Land Repurposing: $100 million to support sustainable agriculture and groundwater management.

The proposed $9.5 billion climate resilience bond represents a pivotal step toward securing California’s water future. By investing in a diverse range of water-related infrastructure and initiatives, we can safeguard our communities, economy, and ecosystems against the impacts of climate change. We urge all Californians to support this essential effort to build a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable water future.Stay informed, spread the word, and get involved! Your voice is crucial in ensuring the success of this proposal.

The easiest way to support the cause is by liking, commenting and sharing our social media posts! Charley did a great video talking about the letter, and you’ll find it on our channels below:

View a PDF of the letter HERE.

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