RANCHO SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Irrigation District Board of Directors voted at the March 18 board meeting to adopt a position of support for an $11.14 billion state water bond, which will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.
The bond, titled the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010, will provide $227 million in direct funding to the San Diego region for drought relief, water supply reliability and watershed protection projects. Specifically, it provides $100 million for the San Vicente Dam Raise project, which will add 152,000 acre-feet of capacity to the San Vicente Reservoir.
This project is part of the San Diego County Water Authority’s $1.5 billion Emergency Storage Project; a plan to protect San Diego County’s water reliability should a natural disaster or drought interrupt the region’s imported water supply.
The bond measure provides $2.4 billion for grants statewide. San Diego County will be able to compete for these grants to fund projects or programs to improve water supply reliability, water quality or the environment. These projects could include water recycling, seawater desalination, conservation, storage and conveyance facilities, as well as environmental protection and restoration.
“This package is the most comprehensive and significant water infrastructure policy since the state water project was established in the 1960s,” General Manager Michael Bardin said. “Our current water shortage is evidence that we need to keep making investments in water reliability projects and fix California’s water system. This bond helps us do that.”
The bond measure is part of a historic legislative package approved by the California legislature and signed by the governor in November 2009. The bond raises $2.25 billion in funding to restore the ecosystem and improve water supply reliability in the Delta. These improvements will also pave the way for building new conveyance facilities around or through the Delta that will restore water deliveries to Southern California that have been cut by regulatory restrictions to protect fish species. The bond does not provide funding for building the Delta conveyance infrastructure itself. Water agencies and ratepayers who will benefit from new conveyance facilities will pay for designing and building the facilities, and for mitigating environmental impacts from the facilities.
For more information on the water bond, visit www.acwa.com or www.water.ca.gov/.
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