Ag Today February 23, 2018

Deadline is Friday to appeal state’s assessment of Proposition 1 water storage proposals

By Steve Schoonover, Chico Enterprise-Record
POSTED: 02/22/18, 6:03 PM PST | UPDATED: 8 HRS AGO

Friday is the deadline for agencies seeking water storage money from the Proposition 1 bond measure to respond to the critiques of their proposals by the California Water Commission staff.

It’s the third leg of the back-and-forth between the applicants and the state. The applicants first provided their estimates of the public benefits of their projects, and the Water Commission staff responded with its estimates of those benefits, which were much lower.

At stake is $2.7 billion in bond money dedicated to increasing water storage, which was included in the broader $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in November 2014.

Eleven applications were filed for the money, including one for Sites Reservoir west of Maxwell. Those 11 sought a total of $5.7 billion. The Water Commission staff’s review only found $1.7 billion in public benefits from the projects. That’s a billion dollars less than the commission has to spend by the end of 2021, so the situation is still fluid.

The Water Commission met Wednesday in Sacramento, and although discussion of the proposals was not on the agenda, groups lobbied for and against specific projects in the public comment part of the meeting.

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