On Monday the Pacific Institute, an independent interdisciplinary research organization, released The California 2010 Water Bond: What does it say and do?. The report compares this bond to previous bonds and finds, “The proposed water bond differs markedly from past water bonds in several ways: it provides significant taxpayer funding for water storage, funding is less targeted to those with the most economic need, and it allows private entities to join joint powers authorities that receive taxpayer funds.”
The report finds that the bond introduces “a new category of ‘economically distressed areas,’ which allows communities with a higher household income to qualify for this funding… Considering the limited funds allocated to disadvantaged communities and economically distressed areas – totaling less than 3% of the bond – this new, broader category may result in even smaller amounts of funding reaching those with the most need.”
Furthermore, the report states that the bond also allows private companies to profit from taxpayer-funded water projects. “Unlike prior bonds and legislation, this bond gives broad authority for nongovernmental partners to enter into joint powers authorities to ‘own, govern, manage, and operate a surface water storage project’ that is funded in part by taxpayers.”
To read the full report click here.