A proposed $8.9 billion bond issue pitched as a way to help meet water needs in an arid, agriculture-dependent state plagued by drought was struggling in early returns Tuesday night, with slightly more than half of voters opposing the measure.

Proposition 3 would add an estimated $430 million in annual state costs over 40 years, with interest payments boosting the total expenditure to $17.3 billion.

The measure’s funds were aimed at a long list of water projects, from repairing Oroville Dam to restoring Bay Area wetlands to helping Central Valley farmers recharge depleted groundwater, as well as capture of urban runoff, desalination of brackish water and groundwater, conservation measures, and restoration and protection of watersheds.

Supporters included The Nature Conservancy, Save the Bay, Ducks Unlimited and many other environmental groups along with large farming groups, the California Labor Federation, the California Chamber of Commerce and many local water districts.

Proponents argued that the money raised would help ensure water shortages would not damage the state’s economy and environment. They said it would make communities more self-sufficient, help prevent flooding (in part through investment in wetlands projects around the San Francisco Bay), promote clean water supplies for people, fish and birds, and …read more

Source:: East Bay – Science

      

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