Both money and signatures are needed to get the Water Priorities for All Initiative on the November ballot. While an all-out effort is being made to collect the signatures statewide, the Kings County Farm Bureau board of directors has decided to help with the money.
The farm bureau board had already decided to support the initiative, and has now tossed $25,000 into the effort. The California Water 4 All initiative aims to redirect high speed rail funding to statewide water projects.
“As we enter a fifth year of drought, it’s clear to the board that redirecting up to $8 billion of unissued high speed rail bonds to building water storage and supply projects is a far better use of the money,” said KCFB President Josh Bettencourt. “We must find a way to protect and increase the state’s water supply, and the board feels that this measure provides reasonable solutions for correcting the current deficiencies.”
Additionally, the measure proposes to significantly increase the amount of surface water available, construct local surface water facilities, support specific shovel-ready state reservoir projects, recharge groundwater, modernize existing surface and groundwater storage facilities and create jobs.
“The passage of the initiative does not take away from what we have, but improves upon our water programs and systems for the good of all—people, food, production and the environment—at no additional cost to the taxpayers,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, executive director of the California Water Alliance, the group sponsoring the measure. “The alternative is more of the same: rationing, rising water prices, zero allocations, more restrictions and regulations, fallowed fields, jobs lost and failure.”
In order for the measure to qualify for the November ballot, registered voters must show their support by signing the petition. KCFB is collecting signatures at their office, as is The Corcoran Journal, the Corcoran Chamber of Commerce and Pizza Factory in Corcoran.
There have been recent conflicting media reports and social media stories noting that the effort has fallen short to make the November ballot. That is not true. Signatures are still being collected.
Following are some quick facts:
–To qualify for the ballot, a total of 585,407 valid signatures from registered voters must be collected by April 26;
–Alternately, those signatures could be collected by July 25 to make the November, 2018, California ballot;
–Over 300,000 signatures have already been collected;
–All signatures gathered thus far can also be used to meet the 2018 deadline;
–If enough signatures are gathered this month, the California Water Alliance will submit the initiative for the upcoming ballot.