Environmental groups unite against water bond*
A coalition of environmental, fishing and community organizations spoke out against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sen. Diane Feinstein's push for a $9.3-million water bond in November, arguing it would worsen California's water crisis while increasing its debt.
Earlier this summer, Schwarzenegger declared California was in a drought and facing a severe water "crisis." He and Feinstein have pushed for the passage of the Safe, Clean, Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2008*, a bond that aims to ensure a reliable annual water supply by increasing storage, improve the process through which water is conveyed throughout the state and increase conservation and efficiency.
The coalition argues that officials should create "new management solutions" rather than fund the "same kinds of projects that have pushed California's water system to the brink." It suggests enforcing land use regulations based on true water availability, creating a statewide conservation program, protecting watershed and aquatic ecosystems and creating water policy that focuses on sustainability and equity.
*Was previously written as "Safe Drinking Water Act" as referred to by a member of the coalition.
Photo: Water flows in an irrigation canal in a cornfield on Andrus Island near Isleton, California, July 16, 2008 in the Delta region of Central California. The Delta region is the heart of the California water system where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers converge before flowing to San Francisco Bay. Credit: Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times