Jerry Meral, California Water Program Director
Natural Heritage Institute
Families in California should vote for Proposition 3, the California water bond. It will benefit our urban and rural communities; create a safe, clean and reliable water supply; and improve water quality and the environment.
Hundreds of thousands of people in California, most of whom are Latino, lack a safe source of drinking water. Their water is contaminated with chemicals and other pollutants, forcing them to drink expensive bottled water. They have a human right to safe drinking water! Proposition 3 includes funding for safe drinking water supplies for disadvantaged communities.
By restoring rivers in urban and rural areas, Proposition 3 will improve family recreational opportunities in our cities and in the countryside.
Proposition 3 will repair Oroville and other unsafe dams and restore the capacity of vital canals needed for urban and agricultural water supplies. We cannot grow our food without these water supply canals.
By improving mountain watersheds, and helping them recover from fire, Proposition 3 will improve the quality and quantity of the water coming from our mountains. Proposition 3 also includes funding to thin overgrown forests, reducing fire danger and improving water supply.
Proposition 3 will capture, clean, and reuse storm water, which will improve water quality in our rivers, lakes, streams, bays, and ocean.
One of the biggest water problems we have in California is over pumping of underground water supplies. Many families living on wells have lost their water supplies due to this problem. Proposition 3 will bring our underground water supplies into balance, protecting the water supply for many people. Some underground water supplies have too much salt, and funding from this water bond will help pay to remove those salts, making the water usable.
We know that drought will return and changing climate will make these droughts worse. By investing in new and reliable water supplies now, we can help reduce the impact of future droughts.
Fish and wildlife need water too. Proposition 3 provides funding to restore rivers, streams, and wetlands to let our fish, ducks and wildlife survive and thrive.
Much of California is subject to flooding. Proposition 3 includes funds to help implement the Central Valley Flood Plan, helping to avoid catastrophes which threaten homes and businesses.
In the Central Valley of California, farmworker employment is dependent on an adequate water supply for irrigated crops. By restoring broken irrigation canals, Proposition 3 will ensure an adequate food supply, and provide continued employment to thousands of farmworkers. That is why the Central Valley Farmworker Foundation has endorsed Proposition 3.
Latino leaders such as Mujeres de la Tierra, Ron Gastelum, Belinda Faustino and Victor Griego have endorsed Proposition 3, along with such outstanding conservation organizations as National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Planning and Conservation League.
Environmental Justice groups like the Community Water Center, Strategic Action for a Just Economy, and Latinos focused on Equity, Economic, Environmental and Climate endorse Proposition 3.
Business groups like the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, California Chamber of Commerce, Biz Fed, Valley Industry and Commerce Association and many local chambers of commerce all support Proposition 3.
Local water districts throughout the state all urge a YES vote on Proposition 3.
For safe drinking water for all, and a clean, safe and reliable water supply, please vote YES on Proposition 3. Gracias.