This statement is available here as a half-sheet flyer to download, print and distribute.
Proposition 1 will not give us the water we need. Its main purpose is to build dams and pipelines that will send Sacramento River water to big agricultural companies in the Central Valley.
The water bond will put us, our children, and our grandchildren deeper into debt. With interest (tax-free to the wealthy bond investors), the $7.5 billion bond will cost us $360 million each year for 40 years.
While 36% of the bond money is devoted to the construction of dams, only 6.9% I earmarked for safe and clean drinking water, some of which will benefit low-income communities. There is no guaranteed funding for much needed projects to replace crumbling infrastructure (like sewer systems) in urban areas.
The Winnemum Wintu Tribe opposes this proposition. Much of their land was flooded to create the Shasta Dam in 1945.At that time the government admitted that “affected resources likely cannot be mitigated.” Raising the Shasta Dam, which is likely to be funded by this act, would wipe out the tribe’s remaining sacred sites, and adversely affect the salmon fishery upon which both native and non-native people depend.
Some large environmental organizations support Proposition 1 because almost 20% of the funds will be available for competitive grants for “multi-benefit ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration projects.” Unfortunately, the dams that will be constructed with almost double the share of the funds will destroy a good deal of ecosystems and watersheds. That is why organizations like Friends of the River and Center for Biological Diversity are opposed to Proposition 1.
Don’t be fooled. Proposition 1 will not make rain fall from the sky. But it will take our money and use it for the benefit of big agricultural corporations, while it impacts the few natural resources we have left.