Governor Brown’s water budget proposal comes under fire
Governor Brown’s water budget proposal comes under fire

Governor Brown’s water budget proposal comes under fire

On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown outlined his proposed budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Although Brown has set aside a one-time sum of $323 million to address the California drought, some water experts believe more could be done.

“…much more must be done to address California’s antiquated and dysfunctional water management system,” said Lester Snow, executive director of the Water Foundation. “Ironically – tragically – while some of our communities are battling floods, others are struggling with the effects of rapidly declining groundwater basins. California needs stable and permanent funding mechanisms to improve how water is managed in this state, and strategies to help the hundreds of thousands of Californians who have no access to safe drinking water.”

The $323 million built into the budget would be used to protect water supplies, conserve water and provide emergency assistance to farmers, fish and wildlife.

Another $215 million will be allocated to fight fires, due to dying trees, a severe impact of the California drought.

“Now is the time to be responsible and fund our core responsibilities: transportation, education, and water infrastructure,” said Assemblyman Frank Bigelow. “One of the best ways to invest in California’s future is by building water storage. The voter approved Proposition 1 water bond includes $2.7 billion for new storage. We should make building these projects a budget priority, so that we have a stable water supply for the future.”

“… the state’s desperate need for additional water storage to help our agriculture and urban areas continues to be ignored. It seems we have learned nothing from the last four years living with less snow and rain – we need to store the water when it comes, not dry up and shrivel when it doesn’t,” said Assemblywoman Shannon Grove.

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