Los Angeles (CA) – Today, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarain joined with the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the California League of Conservation Voters, the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce, the United Chambers of the San Fernando Valley and the Natural Resources Defense Council in support of Proposition 1. If passed, the measure would provide funding for much needed investments as part of a statewide, comprehensive water plan for California.
“This three-year drought has brought into sharp focus how fragile our water infrastructure is in Southern California. Standing here among active and inactive wells, at the center of the Department of Water and Power’s efforts to clean the San Fernando Valley’s polluted aquifer; we must renew our efforts to ensure we have safe clean water for generations. That is why it is so crucial that we all vote ‘Yes’ for Proposition 1 on Election Day,” stated Assemblymember Nazarian.
The San Fernando Basin accounts for more than 80% of the city’s total local groundwater rights. However, because of contamination plumes of harmful chemicals including volatile organic compounds like trichloroethylene, as well as hexavalent chromium, perchlorate, nitrate, and others, only about half of its115 groundwater production wells are usable and only 25% of the water wells are considered reliable. Without immediate intervention, the total loss of the San Fernando Valley aquifer is less than a decade away.
Currently almost 89% of Los Angeles’s water comes from sources hundreds of miles away. Only 11% is from local water sources — mainly groundwater, water recycling, and conservation. Cleaning the San Fernando Valley aquifer is a critical step to reducing Los Angeles’s dependence on imported water.
“There’s always been lots of water right here in Los Angeles under our feet, we just need to be able to use it,” said David Pettijohn, Director, LADWP Water Resources. “Much of our underground aquifer is contaminated, and in order to clean it up, we need funds made available through passage of the state Water Bond. Importing less water, and using more local water, is a much more sustainable practice over the long run and better for Los Angeles.”
The Water Bond provides $800 million for ground water cleanup and $100 million for groundwater monitoring.
“The state’s water issues affect individuals and businesses alike — our economy largely depends on it. This bond will improve the quality of our water and the reliability of our water storage, lowering the cost businesses pay for water,” stated Stuart Waldman, President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association. “When there is no water in an area that area becomes less appealing to businesses. We need to stop taking our water supply for granted, and think about the serious economic implications of doing nothing.”
Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, Chief Executive Officer of the San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce added, “The State’s historic drought has Californians very concerned about our future. Proposition 1 is an important step in cleaning up the San Fernando Valley aquifer and will give the region access to the water it needs.”
The Water Bond also takes vital steps to protect our environment. If passed, the bond will protect and enhance California’s watersheds and ecosystems; ensure that California’s drinking water is safe and reliable; clean, replenish, and sustain groundwater basins; and provide for greater capture and reuse of our water resources.
“The California League of Conservation Voters urges a ‘YES’ vote on Prop 1,” says CLCV Political Director David Allgood. “With California in the midst of a historic extreme drought and growing threats to the public’s access to clean, affordable and reliable sources of water, passage of the bond will ensure critical funding for projects that provide safe drinking water and affordable wastewater treatment for Californians, including the residents of the San Fernando Valley.”
“This isn’t the first drought California’s been through and it certainly won’t be our last,” said Steve Fleischli, director of NRDC’s water program. “Prop 1 funds 21st century solutions at the local level that help create drought-resistant water supplies in Southern California and cut our reliance on imported water while protecting the environment.”
The bond provides for water use efficiency and recycling, groundwater cleanup and management, and $2.7 billion for additional water storage. It invests in safe drinking water, particularly in disadvantaged communities, and provides for watershed restoration and increased flows in some of California’s most important rivers and streams.
The Water Bond passed the Legislature with near unanimous bi-partisan support.
Key Funding Areas
Surface and Groundwater Storage – $2.7 billion
- Continuous appropriation for above-and below ground water storage projects
Regional Water Reliability – $810 million
- Integrated regional water management – $510 million
- Storm-water capture – $200 million
- Water conservation – $100 million
Safe Drinking Water – $520 million
- Leverages federal funds for safe drinking water and clean water programs and for disadvantaged communities.
- Small Community Wastewater Program – $260 million
- Drinking Water Public Infrastructure – $260 million
Water Recycling – $725 million
- Statewide water recycling projects and activities.
Groundwater Sustainability – $900 million
- Prevent and reduce groundwater contaminants – $800 million
- Provide sustainable groundwater management planning and implementation – $100 million
Watershed Protection, Ecosystem Restoration, State Settlements – $1.495 billion
- Conservancies – $327.5 million
- Wildlife Conservation Board – $200 million (restoration of flows)
- Department of Fish and Wildlife – $285 million (out of Delta, no mitigation on BDCP).
- Department of Fish and Wildlife – $87.5 million (in-Delta with constraints).
- State settlement obligations including CVPIA – $475 million
- Rivers and Creeks – $120 million
Statewide Flood Management – $395 million
- Statewide flood management projects and activities – $100 million.
- For Delta levee subvention programs and Delta flood protection projects – $295 million
- Funding eligibility requires urban or agricultural water management plans and compliance with 2009 Water Conservation Act.
- Bay Delta Conservation Plan neutral.
Protects existing water rights and reaffirms area of origin protections.