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May 16
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SACRAMENTO – Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, has requested the California Water Commission, the state agency that controls voter approved funding for water storage projects, to reevaluate its complicated application and review process and approve the 11 individual projects that have applied for funding.

“Last winter we had an historically wet winter yet the bulk of that rainfall washed out to sea because California has not addressed increased major water storage capacity since 1979. This year water officials already predict parts of the state are in a severe drought and once again we are unprepared,” said Wilk. “Voters authorized $7.5 billion in bond money for water infrastructure projects in 2014. While these bonds have been sold, the money sits in the state’s coffers unspent. Not one of the proposals, including integral storage projects like Temperance Flat, have been given the green light by bureaucrats in Sacramento.”

Wilk was a co-author of the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1) on the ballot which was passed overwhelmingly by California voters. Wilk’s letter questions Commission staff’s process and motives as the application process for these funds is nearly impossible to navigate. For those who can figure it out, the Water Commission has applied ridiculous assessments of projects’ suitability to receive the bond money. The convoluted and complex application process has stymied discussions between the Commission staff and applicants delaying approval of all projects.

“The Water Commission was tasked and entrusted with carrying out the will of the voters – that the Prop1 funds be used expeditiously to help improve our state’s water collection, storage and conveyance infrastructure. I believe the Commission should reevaluate the WISP application process to ensure that goal is met,” Wilk concluded.

Wilk’s letter can be found here.

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8 Comments

  1. So California. We need a new governor!

  2. Travis Levy says:

    First thing on the agenda should be no more building in SOCAL until we have figured out our water conditions and how to improve them. Its nice they want to build new towns and ETC but if you don’t have water to supply everyone what’s the point.

  3. jim says:

    Hah! Scotty is just doing what his owners want him to do – make sure that there is enough water (on paper) to make all the local changes necessary to keep our local Water Agencies – AKA Santa Clarita Water – both in charge, and free of governmental oversight.

    Hitch up your pants Scott; this is a big deal, and you don’t want your bosses to see you hanging back when it comes to parsing State Water.

    And by the way, Temperance Flat is a boondoggle that would not help nor hinder water deliveries to the Santa Clarita Valley. However, the giant tunnel would do so.

    Make up your mind, Scott!

  4. Chris Gilbert says:

    The article is not quite clear. Of the $7.5b voted for water projects only $2.7b can be used for water storage projects (the other 6 are shown in the URL below) and of potential water storage projects:

    “The water bond’s storage money can only be used for funding “public benefits” resulting from storage projects. For any given project, at least half of these benefits must be for improving ecosystem conditions. Other qualifying benefits include better flood protection, recreation opportunities, emergency supplies, and water quality.”

    http://www.ppic.org/blog/how-is-california-spending-the-water-bond/

  5. waterwatcher says:

    And of course the water bond will do nothing to make it rain or snow. No snow, no water. Climate change is predicted to severely reduce snow in the Sierras, a cycle we have depended on for the last 70-80 years. The state water project and reservoirs were built on the idea that this cycle would continue. We are making a big mistake to invest large sums into storage projects when there may be little or no water to put in them.
    We need drastically new thinking on the water problem. New reservoirs will not solve climate change. Yes I agree about reducing growth in SoCal. but also we have got to STOP building over our floodplains and recharges areas and take care of our ability to recharge our own groundwater. Unfortunately, developers are in control of this valley from the water agencies and city council to the board of supervisors. So nothing will be done that is in the long term public interest. But what else is new?

    • Chris Gilbert says:

      Storage should concentrate on recharging groundwater basins, the depletion of which is causing the Central Valley to sink. That’s the place to start with storage. Why build expensive above ground facilities when the ground is a cheap place to store it in?

  6. Cam Noltemeyer says:

    The giant tunnel will not receive any federal funds placing the ratepayers of Santa Clarita Valley Water on the hook for huge rate increases. The CLWA board voted to support the Water Fix (giant tunnel) already as part of their getting Senator Scott Wilk SB 634 approved. It is time for the voters to take a look at what their elected water board members are doing, none of it is for the ratepayers.

  7. Carmillis Noltemeyer says:

    Castaic Lake Water Agency board voted to support the Two Tunnel Water Fix as part of their getting Senator Scott Wilk SB 634 approved. The federal government said they would not fund tunnels. Even the one tunnel now being presented would leave the ratepayers of this area on the hook for huge rate increases. The current water board members only represent the developers and not the ratepayers.

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