$11 Billion in Water Bonds: Follow the Money

Governor Schwarzenegger traveled to Fresno County Monday to sign the centerpiece of last week’s package of water bills—an $11.14 billion bond measure that would pay for new dams and reservoirs and a sweeping program of conservation, water recycling and drought relief projects.

The governor appeared at a Friant Dam press conference with state Senator Dave Cogdill, R-Modesto, author of the bond initiative. Schwarzenegger said he’s hopeful that the bond, along with other measures in last week’s comprehensive water agreement, will put an end to the “holy water wars” pitting Northern v. Southern California and among cities, agriculture, fishing communities, and environmentalists.

The the governor signed the bond bill amid criticism that last-minute negotiations added more than $1 billion in earmarks designed to win support for the measure.

See our map, prepared by KQED editor Dan Brekke, for a detailed breakdown of where the $11.14 billion in bond money is supposed to go.


View KQED: California Reservoir Watch in a larger map

  • Anonymous

    NO more dams

  • http://www.twawki.com twawki

    Supposed to go! But where will it really go? Probably research grants, consultants, lobbyists etc – whats left over may just end up being spent on water!

  • Dan Brekke

    Yes: the matter of how all that money will really be spent is a serious issue. The state actually set up a Bond Accountability website last year that’s intended to let citizens track the billions of dollars of bonds approved for infrastructure (including water projects) in 2006. Here’s the link: California Strategic Growth Plan: Bond Accountability.

  • http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com Mike Rodgers

    so I read through some of the policy report and there’s some flaws in the data analysis, i.e., analysis of the “myth” about lawn and residential use or overuse is only looked at on a per capita basis, and although the SF Bay Area and LaLa Land to the south are lower on per capita basis than other parts of the state (where land is cheaper and lots are much much larger than our postage stamps in the most desired urban locations), it is a misleading comparison, you need to look at actual amounts of water in such usages, i.e. lower per capita in the denser urban areas but likely the largest chunks of residential fraction of water use by our overwhelming # of people and residential accounts, i.e. how much of the fraction of residential to overall water usage and how much total water is spent in potentially aesthetic only uses (e.g. lawn watering) in dense urban areas that would be classified as desert by climate (by actual rainfall totals per year, probably ~90-95% of CA urban areas under 10 inches per year of precipitation). How much water would we gain if we put in indigenous plants instead of lawns, say poppies and oaks and succulents vs the bazillion lawns we water in the desert each day–I always liked the desert yards of residences in Albuquerque area vs the lawns of the Sonora desert in Phoenix