Prop 18 analyzed by The Pacific Institute

Click on the cover for a PDF file the Pacific Institute's analysis of Proposition 18, California's $11.1bn water bond

At the end of 2009, the California Legislature passed a series of water-related bills and at the same time approved a massive $11.14 billion bond [the “Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010”] to fund a wide range of water projects and efforts. This is the largest water bond in 50 years, yet the costs and benefits of the bond have not been fully assessed by an independent organization. Until now, writes Pacific Institute president Peter Gleick in the San Francisco Chronicle.

This bond is to be voted on by California voters in November, as Proposition 18. The Governor recently proposed postponing the bond, but the Legislature has not yet taken the action required to have it pulled off of the November ballot.

Click here to keep

The de-monstering of tamarisk

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service this week ceased release and transport of the Chinese or salt cedar leaf beetle because of potential impact on habitat of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Since 1999, the beetles have been introduced along riverbanks in more than a dozen western states  to check the spread of tamarisk trees, also known as salt cedars, introduced plants that are thought to displace natives and take too much water. However, incursion by the beetles into Arizonan flycatcher territory last year prompted a lawsuit. At issue: the endangered bird nested in the acclimated tree, which in turn was increasingly being eaten by an introduced beetle.

The decision to halt release of the beetle (Diorhabda elongata) comes on the heels of a series of reports finding that the threats posed by tamarisk to the water supply have been overblown while the plant’s

Keep it civil

I’ll try. The easiest way to accomplish that when describing yesterday’s Los Angeles field hearing of the US House Sub-Committee on Water and Power is to thank the chair, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, who proved a model of efficiency and civility.

From there, it gets difficult.

Questions, anyone?

The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water and Power, led by Rep Grace Napolitano, will hold a public meeting Monday, January 25, 2010, at 1:00 pm at the offices of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, 700 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The theme is “Perspectives on California’s Water Supply: Challenges and Opportunities” and, to the Rep’s credit, there will be a whole lot of perspective in the house. Among the panelists will be the Commissioner of the federal Bureau of Reclamation Michael Connor, California Assembly Member Anna Caballero, director of the California Department of Water Resources Lester Snow, MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger, Imperial Irrigation District General Manager Brian Brady, San Diego County Water Authority General Manager Maureen Stapleton, Coachella Valley Water District Assistant General Manager Dan Parks, Pacific Institute president Peter Gleick, UC Irvine earth

Santa Monica takes back the tap

SHOPPERS at Santa Monica Farmers Market today received free refills of filtered tap water as the City of Santa Monica joins the “Take back the Tap” campaign mounted by the non-profit Food & Water Watch. Today being the launch of a project that will offer free water to an estimated 20,000 market-goers every week, the City handed out free cups, said Farmers Market manager Laura Avery. However, in future, she said, “you need to bring a bottle. If you could figure out a nice way to say that, that would be great.” The city will also be selling durable, reusable containers for $10.

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