California’s Proposition 1 Passes: What’s Next?

Voters passed Proposition 1 – the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Act of 2014 – by a margin of 67%-33%. Proposition 1 provides $7.5 billion in new and redirected bond funds for a wide range of water related projects that will:

• Protect rivers, lakes, streams, coastal waters and watersheds
• Provide regional water security, climate and drought preparedness
• Provide public benefits through a wide range of water storage options that demonstrate improvement to the state water system, cost-effectiveness and net improvement in ecosystem and water quality conditions
• Promote water recycling
• Improve drinking water quality
• Provide increased flood protection

The Need
The severe drought California has faced the last three years has revealed serious deficiencies in our state’s vital and complex water system. Proposition 1 represents the response of a broad coalition of environmental, business and government stakeholders to the pressing need for a significant investment in our water system. Proposition 1 will address the impacts of the current drought and to prepare for our water future in the face of continued population growth, environmental challenges and climate change.

The bond revenues California voters authorized via Proposition 1 will fund projects that will benefit ecosystems and watersheds throughout the state, while also improving water supply and quality for all sectors of our community.

Support for Sustainable Conservation
Sustainable Conservation’s land, air and water programs could benefit from a number of Proposition 1’s provisions. Our habitat restoration initiatives stand to benefit from the $485 million allocated to the Wildlife Conservation Board and Department of Fish and Wildlife for enhancing stream flows and restoring watershed habitats. Sustainable Conservation’s efforts to promote new approaches to managing the state’s limited groundwater supplies could also benefit from the $2.7 billion allocated to groundwater storage projects.

The passage of Proposition 1, while tremendously significant, is the first step in the process of actually determining which projects will receive funding. Sustainable Conservation will take an active role in the budgeting, legislative and administrative processes that will establish the guidelines and criteria for the allocation of bond funds. We believe Proposition 1 can be good for Sustainable Conservation and the state, providing a real opportunity for California to thrive by working together.

Prop 1 pie chart