Water bond money to go to fixing deteriorating infrastructure across the state

In 2014, California voters approved a $7.5 billion bond that would go to several water projects.

Those include:

  1. $2.7 billion for water storage
  2. $1.49 billion to protect rivers
  3. $900 million for groundwater sustainability
  4. $810 million for drought
  5. $725 million for water recycling
  6. $520 million for safe drinking water
  7. $395 million for flood management

So far, only 2 percent of the money has been used, and the rest has been sitting in a fund, untapped.

In light of the Oroville Dam scare in early February, lawmakers are looking to focus their attention on flood management projects, such as fixing old dams and maybe building new ones. However, some are hoping lawmakers will look over the lowest-priority projects and instead focus on water storage with all the recent precipitation.

"Right now, our surface reservoirs can store something like 45 million acre-feet, but groundwater storage capacity is about a billion acre-feet, so 20 to 30 times our current surface reservoir capacity. So groundwater storage is really an untapped resource," groundwater hydrogeologist Amelia Vankeuren told Capitol Television News Service in Sacramento.

The Shafter-Wasco Irrigation Water District is in the process of building its own groundwater recharge aquifer. It will help alleviate some of the water at the Isabella Dam, while keeping the flow of water in Kern County.

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