6 Jul 2010

Water Bond DOA

I was glad to see that the water bond has been "delayed" (perhaps forever) by politicians growing realization of its unpopularity.

It was unpopular because it was expensive, badly designed and did little to fix California's water problems.

As if we need further confirmation, JC sent this interesting bit of wisdom:
Inland Empire residents may face rate hikes if an $11 billion water bond is kept off of the November ballot.


A delay would not stall local projects, but change who pays for them.

"Our projects will move forward," said Ken Manning, Chino Watermaster board's chief executive officer. "They're not contingent on the bond money. Rate payers will just end up paying more."
Oh, I see. So ratepayers will end up paying for THEIR OWN projects, instead of having other people pay for them? Wow. What a revolutionary idea!

(Oh, and what does this mean for the other water bills? Are they going to remain shallow promises, unfunded and unloved?)

Bottom Line: The easiest way to get something done is to use other people's money. Unfortunately, OPM also means that the worst projects get done -- and we pay for them. I'm glad the bond is in a coma, and I hope it never comes back.


  1. They should have kept it on the ballot so we can defeat it and get it over with. But like everything else bad in this state, it will linger.

    -- John Seiler

  2. Such viewpoints fail to fully recognize what the water bond would have accomplished and the consequences of not approving it now. All of California has benefited from those of the past who looked into the future and saw how a reliable source of water would improve the lifestyles of all through a growing economy. That growth is now jeopardized because of an aging infrastructure. It is not just the farm workers losing jobs and the land going unplanted, it is off-the-farm jobs that will also suffer, from truck drivers to grocery clerks to dock workers.

    Mike Wade
    California Farm Water Coalition

  3. @Mike -- since ag uses 80% of the water and generates 4% -- let's be generous -- 10% of CA's economy/growth/jobs, doesn't it make sense to more more ag water to NON-ag sectors responsible for 90% of CA's economic activity? I want to hear your justification for more money/water to ag.

  4. David,

    Come on, the enviro's have taken a big chunk of that 80%.

    Is Jeffery Micheal's now teaching at Cal, 4% of Ca. GDP. If my memory is correct, Ag revenue is turned over seven times in our economy, all the while we produce many homogeneous goods.

    Hope your travels were fun.

    See you in the valley,


  5. @Shawn -- 80% does NOT include enviro water -- I am talking "developed" water. OTOH, I agree that enviro water often comes from ag water. My POINT is that ag water is lower value than urban water.

    I was saying 10% (>4%) to give you the benefit of the doubt, but those multipliers (7x?!?) are BS; they are always BS, put out by propaganda departments. Look up the figures from the CA Dept of Ag...

    I am NOT saying "end ag" -- I am saying Ag's not as important as most people claim...

  6. David---You really don't get it, do you? Being an economist I would have thought you would have seen the bigger picture.

    You begin with the myth that ag uses 80% of the water...not true. You and I both know that only 41% of the developed water is allocated to ag and 11% to urban. The rest? Yep, the environment. These are not my numbers but rather from California Department of Water Resources. And don't start with that silly nonsense of "it's 80% of human water use" because it ignores the millions of acre-feet of water taken from ag since the early 90's and directed to the environment. I'm always amazed that critics of farm water certainly labeled that water as available for use when it went to ag but now because it is used by the environment it is as if it never existed.

    Back to the bigger picture. What is the result of the water used on the farms? Let's go beyond the on-farm impacts when the water is taken away, such as the 20,000 farm workers who lost their jobs because of the drought and environmental restrictions in the Delta, and look at who benefits from farm water. Let's even go beyond the benefits of a food supply that we have all enjoyed. What about those truck drivers who haul the farm products up and down the state...and even across the nation? What about the dock workers who are loading the farm products onto ships to be sent overseas as part of our overall trade picture? What about the grocery clerks that keeps the produce looking fresh in the grocery stores...and the cash register checkers? Do I need to go on? Shawn is correct when he talks about added jobs.

    If you want to take even more water away from California farmers, then who makes up for the reduced food supply? Do you really want an increased reliance on imported food? What happens to our trading levels with other countries?

    The ramifications of stripping away the water supply from California farmers would be far-reaching. I hope you will learn that such reaching would devastate the lives of those who work in the farming industry and seriously impact the way of life that we have all come to enjoy.

    Mike Wade
    California Farm Water Coalition

  7. @Mike -- Ag has 80% of "developed" -- man controlled -- water; enviro water is counted in mass balances. Check your "facts."

    Then check your propaganda on how ag is doing more with less and tell me how much suffering is happening.

    Then get numbers on $ and jobs WITHOUT duplication and tell me that >10% of CA's $ or jobs come from ag.

    Then tell me you drive a car made in California. No? Your computer? No? Your clothes? No? How about a little less mercantilism and a little more support for free trade, something that has overwhelmingly benefited CA farmers -- to the US and abroad...

    Then give me a break with your opinions dressed up as logic.

    I am happy to hear your views, but don't dress agit/prop as fact.


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