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San Diego’s fair share of state water funding is at risk. Proposition 50 was passed by California voters in 2002 as a $3.4 billion general obligation bond to fund water projects throughout the state. The measure was intended to protect and provide clean and safe water with critical upgrades to water infrastructure and land acquisition for environmental purposes.

Next week, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will consider a new funding process proposed by staff of the DWR and State Water Resources Control Board, which would effectively deny the San Diego region and others the opportunity to compete for the bulk of remaining Proposition 50 funds. And I’m not talking pocket change.

There’s approximately $190 million at stake.

The Grant Program Guidelines currently in place was prepared with extensive stakeholder input and explicitly calls for two open and competitive funding cycles.

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is in strong opposition to the new grant process proposal, as well as the idea being floated to combine Proposition 50 and Proposition 84 funds. We believe California voters passed two discrete and independent measures, with an understanding that the funds would be separate, providing fair access for all regions of the state to compete for both Proposition 50 and 84 funds.

Simply stated, it’s unfair to the voters of the San Diego region and the state to make such a drastic change to these types of funding processes mid-cycle.

More on local water issues to follow…

LANI LUTAR

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