August 18, 2014 For Immediate Release



Proposition 1 Will Burden Taxpayers, Do Nothing to Alleviate California’s Water Woes


Proposition 1, the water bond approved by the California legislature for the November 2014 ballot, would waste an extravagant amount of taxpayer money just when the state is recovering from the Great Recession. Further, the bond would do little to alleviate California’s chronic water problems, and would cause irreparable environmental harm.


“Forty three percent of the bond’s money is earmarked for dubious storage projects with a dismal cost return, cheap water for billionaires and administrative overhead,” says Carolee Krieger, the Executive Director of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN).  “After you add in the required interest to this boondoggle, it will mean a $14.7 billion hit to the General Fund at a time of record debt.”


Proposition 1 falls short on several specific counts:


- It provides $2.7 billion for new water storage projects that will yield minimal additional capacity.


- The new storage facilities supported by the bond will benefit corporate agribusiness far more than urban ratepayers.


- It allocates at least $200 million to subsidize cheap water deliveries to billionaire almond growers.


- It contributes to the continued expansion of California’s already bloated bureaucracy by designating up to $375 million for administrative overhead.

- Despite claims that Proposition 1 is a “conservation measure,” it does nothing to protect the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and the Klamath and Trinity Rivers from excessive water diversions.

In sum, Proposition 1 encompasses all the usual porcine metaphors used to describe wasteful government initiatives: It is both a pig in a poke, and the rankest variety of political pork.

“Also, this isn’t a matter of putting lipstick on a pig and ending up with a gussied-up pig,” said Krieger. “This is more a case of slathering lipstick, rouge, foundation makeup and mascara on a feral hog.  When it’s all done, taxpayers will have something that isn’t only surpassingly ugly – it’ll bite a big chunk out of their wallets.”

In a more serious vein, Krieger added:

“As much as people would like to think that these new dams will solve our water problems, they won’t.  These new facilities will capture a minimum amount of water – far less than can be gained through cheaper methods such as recycling, conservation, and reallocation of deliveries currently made to impaired agricultural lands. Both C-WIN and the State Water Board have documented that water right claims in California tally up to five times the average amount of water available. You can’t address that kind of deficit with these new, absurdly expensive schemes. They are literally a drop in the bucket.  All they will do is burden taxpayers.”






Carolee Krieger 805-969-0824

Tom Stokely 530-524-0315

C-WIN, GeneralC-WINComment