Voters Reject Prop 3, California Water Bond
The California Water Bond was an $8.9 billion citizens initiative water bond placed on the November 2018 ballot, which would have invested in the state’s water infrastructure, funding projects to ensure safe drinking water, Sustainable Groundwater Management (SGMA) implementation, infrastructure repair, watershed restoration, and wildlife habitat protection. The Water Bond failed, earning only 47% of the vote.
he Water Bond included nearly $4 billion in funding for environmental protection and restoration, including specific support for redwood preservation and restoration in both the coast redwood and giant sequoia ecosystems. Some of the bond’s priorities that were most relevant to the work of Save the Redwoods League included the following:
- $2.35 billion to protect, restore and improve the health of watershed lands, including redwood and sequoia forestlands, meadows, wetlands, chaparral, and riparian habitat
- $250 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy
- $100 million for the Bay Area Conservancy
- $675 million for the State Coastal Conservancy
- $930 million for the Wildlife Conservation Board watershed management program
- $150 million for California State Parks
California voters passed a Park and Water Bond, Prop 68, earlier in 2018, which prioritized parks and recreation. The majority of Prop 3 funding (82%) prioritized different projects, and focused on traditional water programs, including improving water infrastructure and conveyance to reliably deliver clean water to Californians.
Even though the two funding measures complemented each other’s restoration, groundwater management, and safe drinking water priorities, we needed both bonds to most effectively address the impacts of climate change, a growing population, and the water supply and water quality-related challenges we face in California.
In addition to Save the Redwoods League, Prop 3 was endorsed by The Nature Conservancy, California Council of Land Trusts, California Trout, Sustainable Conservation, and many others.