Water Bond Update

In November 2014 water officials celebrated in victory for the passage of the $7.5 billion water bond. The Water Quality and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 includes funding for several critical areas including regional water reliability, safe drinking water, watersheds and flood management, water recycling, groundwater sustainability, and storage. The Water Bond dates back to 2009 when Senator Dave Cogdill introduced the bill as

the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act.  The bill was slated to appear in 2010; however, it was postponed to 2012 due to the belief the bond would not pass. In 2012, the bond was again delayed to 2014. And the rest is history.

The funding categories are as follows:

  • Regional Water Reliability - $810 Million for storm water capture, conservation and programs that increase local and regional water supplies.
  • Safe Drinking Water - $520 Million for safe drinking water and clean water programs.
  • Watersheds and Flood Management - $1.89 Billion for watershed and habitat restoration programs, improvements for creeks, rivers, and watersheds, and programs to restore flood management.
  • Water Recycling - $725 Million for projects that cover water recycling, water reuse and salt removal.
  • Groundwater Sustainability - $900 Million for the clean-up and protection of groundwater basins to help achieve sustainability.
  • Storage - $2.7 Billion for water storage projects including surface storage, groundwater storage and reservoir reoperation.

The next steps will be taken by various state agencies such as the Department of Water Resources, State Water Resources Control Board and the California Water Commission who will implement a competitive grant process. This process will include guidelines, soliciting of proposals, the review of applications and the awarding of funds. It is expected that this process will take between 12 through 24 months.