Are benefits of Prop 1 being oversold?

Are benefits of Prop 1 being oversold?

2014-10-23-Prop1coverProposition 1 — a $7.1 billion state bond to pay for a variety of water projects — was billed as a huge improvement over bloated past proposed water bonds when it emerged from the Legislature this summer. Now Gov. Jerry Brown’s political warchest and Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame are funding an ad campaign that aggressively pitches the measure and the Prop 2 rainy-day fund as crucial for California’s future.

This week, however, one of the relatively few think tanks that specializes in water issues came out with a 26-page analysis that in low-key fashion suggests Prop 1’s merits are being exaggerated. The Pacific Institute, based in Oakland, says it is neutral on the measure. But its concluding chapter strongly  suggests that the bond is likely to disappoint anyone who sees it as a game-changer for state water policy:

We note that nothing in this proposition will provide immediate relief from the current drought or offer short-term assistance to those suffering the consequences of current water challenges. If Proposition 1 passes, if the funds are designated for effective projects, and if those projects are well-designed and well-implemented, the long-term benefits could include a reduction in the risks of future droughts and floods as well as improvements in the health of California’s aquatic ecosystems. A key priority of the bond is to augment the state’s water supply and improve water supply reliability, with more than $4.2 billion in taxpayer funding dedicated to that priority.

As was the case with the 2010 bond, there is substantial funding in the 2014 bond for the public benefits portions of surface water or groundwater storage projects. The 2010 bond included $3.0 billion directly for water storage; the current language includes $2.7 billion. Because the total size of the 2014 bond is smaller than the 2010 bond, the proportion of total funding committed for storage increased from 30% to 36%. Beyond the eduction in the total allocation from $3 billion to $2.7 billion, the water storage language in the proposed 2014 bond is almost identical to the language in the original 2010 bond.

Far less of the bond funds are available for other water supply and demand management options, including recycled water, stormwater capture, and efficiency. Yet, these options can typically provide more water at lower cost than most storage projects. Funding for water conservation and efficiency is especially low, at only $100 million, or about 1% of the bond.

 A down payment on water future “at best”

The think tank also worries that once the bond money is in hand, allocation decisions may be poorly handled.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of Proposition 1 funds in addressing California’s overall water problems will depend on how the funds, if passed by the voters, are actually allocated and spent. If Proposition 1 passes, the Institute recommends that the California Water Commission develop a rigorous, independent, and transparent evaluation of the process governing the evaluation and quantification of the public benefits of proposed storage projects. It also recommends that decisions about the rest of the funds be made with a focus on meeting public and ecosystem needs for safe and reliable water, improvements in efficient use, and reductions in the risks of future droughts and floods.

If good projects are identified and supported, these funds can help move the state forward in the broader effort of designing, building, and managing a 21st century water system. But voters should not expect immediate relief from Proposition 1 for the impacts of the current drought; nor should they expect these funds to be the last investment that is needed for better institutions, smarter planning, and more effective water management strategies. It can be, at best, a down payment on our water future.

The obvious solution that may someday be forced on us

ws_infographics_outdoorI’ve always thought that California’s water problems are seen through a distorted lens — one which doesn’t acknowledge that if water use is prioritized, genuine nightmares harming our quality of life are easily avoided.

The U.S. EPA says one-third of residential water use goes to maintain lawns. That’s nearly 9 billion gallons a day. And much of that is wasted.

If we ever had a water shortage so severe that it threatened our economy, stopping the use of water for what might be called cosmetic purposes would be an obvious step. Sorry, but using precious water so folks can have a green lawn should be the lowest water priority of all if the megadrought some expect for the Southwest comes to pass.

Brown lawns or dead lawns, in the grand scheme of things, are not genuine nightmares.

32 comments

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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 25 October, 2014, 09:39

    This Prop 1 money too will be siphoned off to fund the pension debt. Watch and learn. The scoundrels in government never waste a good crisis. All of them are wolves dressed up as sheep. Beware if the officeholder or the candidate is a democrat or a republican. They’ve been vetted in advance by the party oligarchs. They are bred to screw you.

    Reply this comment
  2. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 25 October, 2014, 11:08

    Chris wrote, ” Sorry, but using precious water so folks can have a green lawn should be the lowest water priority of all if the megadrought some expect for the Southwest comes to pass.
    Brown lawns or dead lawns, in the grand scheme of things, are not genuine nightmares.

    It certainly could come to the point where we have to forbid the watering of lawns, but I wouldn’t be so cavalier in suggesting that course. You’re failing to realize how many jobs and industries depend on lawns and their maintenance. Here in Humboldt County alone there are hundreds of people that rely on such jobs (although we have nowhere near the water problems some other areas have). I’m sure there are tens of thousands of others in the state also working in lawn related industries.

    I am one of those who relies on water and lawns and took a financial hit from the drought, even up here where we’re not as drought stricken. Yet many advocate shutting down water using industries without a second thought. Environmentalists do it all the time.

    Water+energy= jobs and wealth. We need water, energy and jobs. Let’s not be so quick to dismiss the jobs that rely on the water supply.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 25 October, 2014, 17:52

      Forbidding homeowners from watering their lawns should be the VERY LAST RESORT during an extended drought with dwindling water supplies. All residential pools should be emptied of their water first to use on the grass and plants. Once the pools are emptied grass watering prohibition could be put on the table for discussion. But not a minute before. Green lawns are more important than some beached whale floating on an air mattress in a home pool.
      And there should be more incentive for people to convert their grass lawns to water friendly desert landscapes – which can be very attractive if done right. We could save billions of gallons of water long term.

      Reply this comment
      • S Moderation Douglas
        S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 08:29

        ” In fact, a well-maintained pool or spa uses less water per day than an irrigated lawn. Most pool designs include more than just the pool itself; wooden or concrete decks also replace traditional landscaping and the need for water.”
        …………..
        As in HALF as much. Even the first year, when the pool is built AND filled, it will use less water than the equivalent lawn area.

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 10:54

          Baloney. The average home pool holds about 20,000 gallons of water. An average lawn watering consumes about 0.623 gallons per square foot. So an average urban lawn of 15’x 20′ would consume about 190 gallons of water. 20000/190 = the equivlent of about 105 waterings. During the dry season you only need to water your grass twice a week. So lets say May thru September. 5 months = about 23 weeks. 23 x 2 waterings = 46 waterings. 46 x 190 gallons = 8740 total gallons (versus 20,000 gallons to fill an average sized pool). You’re wrong again. In fact, you’re wrong times more than 2. hah. 🙂

          If this drought continues all home pools should be emptied and used for yard and plant maintenance in the summer before more water restrictions are placed on normal grass waterings.

          Reply this comment
          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 11:34

            Saints preserve us!

            You want another LINK??

            You have no idea what you’re ranting about.

            As usual.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 11:55

            I deal in fact and math. You deal in hype. Let the readers decide who to trust! 😉
            I approve this message! 🙂

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 12:06

            Oh, and I didn’t even factor in the water evaporation rate in a home pool. The average pool loses about 2″ of water per week. This can amount to 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of water lost due to evaporation alone in a single year!

            Oh, and the average home with a pool uses about 50% more energy (electricity and gas) than a home without a pool! Home pools are water and energy WASTERS!

            If you want to swim do as I do – GO TO THE GYM OR TO YOUR LOCAL YMCA!!!! Stop being a water and energy hog!!! 🙁

  3. TruthandtheAmericanWay
    TruthandtheAmericanWay 25 October, 2014, 19:41

    At a meeting Friday, I was part of a conversation that when something like this “Not sure if Prop 1 will get us any water as none of the previous propositions have produced anything of substance!”

    I figured this out when reading my voter guide a few weeks ago. It is full of leaks. It appears to be another slush fund for moonbeam and his minions who will screw around diving up the monies to their union buddies and cronies, nothing more nothing less.

    Propositions must always be written to close all gaps and have a substantive outcome with NO shadowy crap in front or behind it.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 25 October, 2014, 20:12

      I intend to vote against Prop 1 and Prop 2 just because I’ve seen TV ads with Jerry Clown telling us to vote for both. Anything Clown wants us to vote for has to be bad and contrary to our own best self-interests! 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonder Dog!
        Rex the Wonder Dog! 26 October, 2014, 22:48

        I voted against BOTH already, and the only reason was because Clown is backing them.

        Payback for Prop 32.

        Reply this comment
        • SeeSaw
          SeeSaw 27 October, 2014, 08:32

          At least keep your Props straight Rex. Prop 32 was not JB’s. Since you and LIC have such adoration and respect for each other’s opinions, why don’t you flee CA together with your knapsacks and go to your favorite Red state, or any other state, and leave the rest of us alone!

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 11:09

            Sooner or later the gov is going to be forced to snatch some of your CA retirement benefits to fund free food, housing, medical, education for the growing poverty class, seesaw. And I hope that’s sooner rather than later. I encourage everyone to apply for each and every welfare progam to which they might be entitled. Like the old adage goes “If you can’t beat ’em – join ’em.” Sink California financially. Then your pension benefits will be on the line. The State will take care of the impoverished before they take care of you. You might squawk alot. But you won’t loot and burn! 😀

  4. Queeg
    Queeg 25 October, 2014, 23:11

    Doomers are slow to learn. Sacramento os flatening the tax base right before your eyes. The poor and lower middle class will be paying for their benefits through use costs, fees, taxes, assessments, rents.

    Like higher utility, gasoline, water, carbon tax pass throughs as examples.

    The pot is simmering. Take aways and no real income growth in years will make for unhappy residents!

    Reply this comment
  5. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 26 October, 2014, 09:55

    “The pot is simmering. Take aways and no real income growth in years will make for unhappy residents!”

    Stop whining and follow the incentives! Join the welfare crowd or the working poor! Don’t produce too much. Take a lot! Fees may go up but the poor will be exempted. The poor pay greatly reduced electricity and gas rates now! If rents increase, Section 8 benefits will increase accordingly. Wouldn’t you like to get treated in any ER in the State without worrying about a deductible or a co-pay? Yes, you could get treated in BelAire or Rolling Hills in the rich hospitals for FREE! What’s not to love about that? So REDUCE YOUR INCOME and adapt or perish. Remember that old motto “Go west, young man. Go west!” Today it’s “Go poor, young man. Go poor!”

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 26 October, 2014, 12:34

    Globalists frugally control the income of the millions of California service workers. Government silently takes income by higher and higher utility, water, fees, etc.

    Clippo hit it …work poor….be happy…..collect to survive…..survive…kapish?

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 26 October, 2014, 13:16

      If I had small children I would encourage them to be ‘poor’ when they grow up unless I thought they could rise into the ‘one-percenter club’. In that case I would teach them to be producers. I think ‘poor’ people will be much happier and lead better quality lives in America as we move forward simply because there will be so many of them. You have to keep ‘poor’ people happy or they revolt! The debt slaves with their massive student loans and those struggling to make over $100,000 a year will lead miserable lives, as they will be forced to subsidize the ‘poor’. So relax. Take it easy. Jump on the free cheeze train. No ticket required!

      Reply this comment
  7. T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
    T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 26 October, 2014, 20:44

    My God Collapso
    could you be posting you nonsense drivel amy faster?Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Reply this comment
  8. fletch92131
    fletch92131 26 October, 2014, 21:03

    ” If Proposition 1 passes, if the funds are designated for effective projects, and if those projects are well-designed and well-implemented, the long-term benefits could include a reduction in the risks of future droughts and floods as well as improvements in the health of California’s aquatic ecosystems. A key priority of the bond is to augment the state’s water supply and improve water supply reliability, with more than $4.2 billion in taxpayer funding dedicated to that priority.”
    If past California bond issues, (1A for example) are any indication, that huge number of “ifs” in this statement, which have failed to make any sense in the past and unlikely to do so now.

    Reply this comment
  9. Joan Brophy
    Joan Brophy 26 October, 2014, 21:51

    During this drought there should be a building moritorium on ABAG housing. Why have people cut back on there water and then build 5,000 units down the street. The moritorium should last the same amount of time that the drought has been here.Most of the people in the ABAG housing are subidized and will not be paying for their water, so hold off untill we see what the future brings.// Joan

    Reply this comment
  10. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 08:44

    If you can believe CalWatchDog, ripping out lawns will conserve VERY little, if any, water.

    March 12, 2014

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 11:01

      You didn’t read or comprehend the article. Read again. Much depends upon the soil type. 85% of the soil types in California’s urban areas favor conservations, which means ‘ripping out lawns’ and converting to desert landscapes. ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE – the theory is that only 15% of less would benefit from NOT ‘ripping out lawns’. And even that is questionable IMO. Read and comprehend. In that order.

      Reply this comment
      • S Moderation Douglas
        S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 11:44

        ” And landscaping only uses 1.98 percent of all rainfall in an average year (44 percent of 4.5 percent); and a puny 1.01 percent in a wet year (44 percent of 2.3 percent).”

        ” Is it worth spending $10,000 to $20,000 ripping out the grass and putting in a “drought garden” in front of a typical Southern California home?

        Water transferred from the High Sierras to Southern California cities just shifts water from one ecology to another. Which ecology should get the water is a matter of cultural and political values, not science or rational drought policy.”

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 13:06

          Who spends $10k to $20k on a drought garden? For an average urban yard it would cost $2k to $4k depending if there is a lighting and watering system installed. And it would save about 8000 gallons (or more) of water during the dry season. Most water districts pay for a large part, if not for all of the conversion. There’s nothing wrong with shifting water from one ecology to another. So Cal doesn’t have the High Sierras. If it did water would get tranferred in the opposite direction. Regardless of the amount of water urban areas use – we should ALWAYS think ‘conservation’ during a drought. We don’t know how long the drought will last and supplies are limited. Everybody doesn’t need a grass yard. You people are living back in the days of Ozzie and Harriot. Grow up.

          Reply this comment
          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 14:01

            ” With pool covers, experts say water evaporation can be cut by almost half, making pools significantly less wasteful than grass and about as efficient as drought-tolerant landscaping.”

            http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-pool-haters-20140913-story.html

            You kinda sound like them damb dumb liberals. “I don’t CARE if you have four kids, get rid of that SUV and get a PRIUS!!!

            Do you really want to get rid of all the business for pool builders, equipment and chemical suppliers, and maintenance companies cause you think it ” looks bad”?
            ………
            That was a rhetorical question. It’s 70 degrees and sunny outside, and this may be the last week I can swim without a wetsuit.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 14:48

            The disingenuous part about you is that when I destroy one of your argument with facts you change the subtopic and go on to something else. First you said that a home pool has less water than the amount it take to water the grass. I pulverized your argument with actual facts and math. I showed that it does not cost $10k to $20k to remove grass and convert the space to a desert landscape. Do most people put a cover on their home pool when it’s not in use? Answer: NO! Would water still evaporate with a pool cover? Answer: YES! In a 20000 gallon pool there would be A MINIMUM loss of 8,000 gallons per year. About the same number of gallons it would take an average homeowner to water his grass during the hot months of May-September. If you want to swim GO TO A PUBLIC POOL! Don’t be a water and energy hog!!! Don’t just think about yourself. Think about the greater good once in awhile. OK?

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 16:27

            LOL!!!! “Collapso facts”, as a wise man once said.

            ” the Santa Margarita Water District conducted its own water-use analysis. It found that pools require thousands of gallons of water to fill initially, but they use about 8,000 gallons less water than a traditional landscape after that. By the third year, the analysis found, the savings add up, and a pool’s cumulative water use falls below that of a lawn.

            Water agencies such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have come to similar conclusions.
            ……………………

            Santa Margarita Water District ….. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power……Callapso math……

            Who DO I believe?

            No WAY I’m going to “THE GYM OR TO YOUR LOCAL YMCA!!! ”

            Apparently there are some real wackos that go there.

            Go ahead, pulverize some more arguments.

          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 18:33

            Pool evaporation alone is at least 8000 gallons a year, einstein. Uncovered pools evaporate 10k to 20k gallons a year. Do you think that once you fill the pool up all the water stays inside??? hah. An average lawn uses about 8000 gallons a year Math dude. Math. Plue, a pool adds 50% to electicity and gas consumption. Don’t be a water and energy hog. Swim at your local YMCA as long as you don’t resemble a hippo 😀

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 27 October, 2014, 19:42

            Apparently, the Santa Margarita Water District didn’t use Calapso math when they determined a pool uses less water than a lawn. Or Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

            Or the Placer County Water Agency, whose analysis showed that the amount of water used for pools was inconsequential compared with total water use.

            …………………………
            ” Math dude. Math. Plue, a pool adds 50% to electicity and gas consumption.”

            ?????????

            I run my pump twelve hours a day, and according to my utility, my “electicity” consumption is average for similar size houses in my area.

            How do you make this stuff up?

            And, why?

            Again, rhetorical question. You must have other windmills to tilt.

            AFK

        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 27 October, 2014, 22:05

          “I run my pump twelve hours a day, and according to my utility, my “electicity” consumption is average for similar size houses in my area.”

          So you must not have a refrigerator or water heater in your home. hah. A pool pump and filter pump consumes a god-awful amount of electricity. You gas bill has to be above average as well. Homes with pools use 50% more energy than those that don’t. It’s a well-known fact. Do I have to post a proof source link for ya???

          Reply this comment
          • T ted t t teddy
            T ted t t teddy 28 October, 2014, 15:45

            El collapso : not the sharpest tool in the shed!

  11. Queeg
    Queeg 27 October, 2014, 09:48

    Teddy….your protaginist cracked. I’m sure of it, but meds and his tight white coat disguise his malaise…..

    I say if you see water running outside, dam it, can it, bottle it, canal it…..end of story-

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