December 28, 2021
As we get ready to celebrate the beginning of 2022, the More Water Now campaign wants to thank the nearly 300 individuals who have already donated to our volunteer effort, and the hundreds of volunteers who are circulating petitions all over the state. Thanks to their generous contributions of time and money, our campaign remains positioned to qualify The Water Infrastructure Funding Act for the November 2022 ballot.
To get from where we are, however, to where we need to be by April 29th – the signature gathering deadline – we require support from institutions and individuals with the capacity to donate millions of dollars. That is a reality we have been aware of all along, guiding our campaign priorities. We have initiated relationships with potential major partners to this campaign. They are watching our progress and weighing their options. We encourage all of you reading this to consider the tremendous upside – a state where water scarcity is eliminated forever – and reach out to anyone you know who can offer financial support at this high level, or who knows someone who can.
The initiative we crafted, in collaboration with water experts from all over California who volunteered their time, is utterly nonpartisan. And while the lack of early financial support makes our challenge today harder, it is evidence that our effort had no special interest agenda. We set out to craft an initiative that would benefit everyone in California, and that’s exactly what we’ve got.
The Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022 is not another water bond. Instead it requires two percent of the California State General Fund to be allocated to water projects until new projects add five million acre feet per year to California’s water supply. It funds aqueduct repairs and replacement of leaking or toxic pipes. It prioritizes projects in low income communities that lack the rate base to fund improvements to their water systems. It doesn’t pick winners, but instead defines eligible categories of projects. And to ensure projects are environmentally responsible, it gives the California Water Commission the final authority over what projects to fund.
This initiative ought to be a dream come true for anyone concerned about California’s water supply. Despite the recent heavy rains, Californians are not prepared for prolonged droughts or climate change. We need to capture more storm runoff. We need to recycle 100 percent of urban wastewater. With this initiative, those goals will be achieved.
Those who object to public spending on water projects should know that subsidizing water infrastructure is easily a tax neutral proposition, if not positive. By lowering the cost of water, the price of food, utility bills, housing, and all other products and services that depend on affordable water go down. This means the tax revenues spent subsidizing water projects are offset by less government spending on subsidies and rebates to low and middle income households. At the same time, the economic growth enabled by more affordable water creates more profits and more tax revenue.
Abundant, clean and affordable water is the prerequisite for broad based prosperity in California. It lowers the overall cost-of-living which benefits households at the same time as it improves the competitiveness of businesses that want to pay a living wage. The Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022 is the solution Californians have been waiting for. Let’s make it happen!
If you want to help, send an email to contact@MoreWaterNow.com, or call 279-345-9934.
* * *