2014 Water Bond
Proposition 1 in Action
The $7.545 billion water bond approved overwhelmingly by California voters in November 2014 is expected to provide a significant infusion of funding for water projects and programs at a pivotal time in California water. But before bond dollars from Proposition 1 can be disbursed for actual projects, each state agency tasked with administering a competitive grant or loan process must develop and finalize guidelines for soliciting and evaluating project proposals.
Guidelines Key to Process
The guidelines spell out the total amount of funding available for various programs and the criteria agencies will apply to evaluate and rank projects for funding. Under Proposition 1, agencies are required to hold at least three public meetings and solicit public input prior to finalizing their guidelines. In addition, draft solicitation and evaluation guidelines must be posted on the website of the issuing state agency for at least 30 days before the public meetings.
Once the guidelines are finalized, the agencies use them to evaluate project proposals. Agencies then make initial funding awards to various projects. Once projects demonstrate they are either satisfactorily underway or completed (depending on the financing agreement), the state liquidates bonds and reimburses the project proponent.
State agencies that have been allocated funds through Proposition 1 are coordinating with the Department of Finance through the normal state budget process to make dollars available for their grant and loan programs. The Brown Administration’s California Water Action Plan is being used as a long-term guide for expenditure priorities. The exact amount of Proposition 1 dollars available for a funding category in a fiscal year will be decided in the state budget process.
Water Commission on Point for Storage Funds
Water storage funding is the exception to the budget and appropriation process. The funds under Chapter 8 of Proposition 1 are “continuously appropriated,” meaning the Legislature cannot oversee them or condition them in the budget process. Instead, Chapter 8 funding will go directly to the California Water Commission (CWC). The CWC is developing a competitive process to allocate $2.7 billion in funding for the public benefits of water storage projects. The CWC is inviting public participation as it develops regulations to define methods for the quantification and management of public benefits of water storage projects and funding program guidelines that will define and guide the process.
ACWA is providing input to that process based on the work of the Water Storage Policy Task Force established by the ACWA Board late last year.
Bond Accountability Website
In recent years, the state has used its Bond Accountability Website (http://bondaccountability.resources.ca.gov) to provide information on how bond funds are spent and details about funded projects. Proposition 1 information is being added to the website, and draft guidelines for grant processes will be available soon.
In addition, the Natural Resources Agency has released a draft schedule outlining key benchmarks for the first year of Proposition 1’s expenditure period. The draft schedule is available on the Bond Accountability Website.
Proposition 1 is the product of more than five years of discussions and negotiations among state lawmakers, stakeholders and others to craft a responsible bond measure to provide targeted funding for new surface and groundwater storage projects, regional water reliability, sustainable groundwater management and cleanup, water recycling, water conservation and safe drinking water, particularly for disadvantaged communities.
Legislation placing the Proposition 1 on the ballot was approved on a near unanimous, bipartisan vote by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Aug. 13.
ACWA's Board of Directors voted unanimously to support Proposition 1 in a special meeting Aug. 19.
- Download an updated fact sheet on Proposition 1 here. (Nov. 7, 2014)
- Download an infographic on Proposition 1 funding categories here.
- Download a presentation by Timothy Quinn from the Oct. 8 ACWA webinar here.
Category Agency Guideline
Small community wastewater treatment
State Water Resources
March 2015 June 2015 Safe and affordable
State Water Resources
May 2015 July-Aug. 2015 Multibenefit watershed projects State Conservancies
Jan.-Feb. 2015 Various dates Enhanced stream flows Wildlife Conservation Board Feb. 2015 May 2015 Urban creek restoration State Conservancies
In process TBD State obligations in
Natural Resources Agency In process TBD Watershed and
Urban River Enhancements
Natural Resources Agency In process TBD Watershed restoration and Delta water quality and
Department of Fish and Wildlife Jan. 2015 May 2015 Integrated regional water
Department of Water Resources March 2015 2016 (Final Round of Prop 84 in progress and to be awarded by Aug. 2015) Water Use Efficiency Grants, Round 1 – Urban and Agriucultural Department of Water Resources July 2015 Dec. 2015 Stormwater management State Water Resources
In process TBD Water Storage Investment
California Commission Jan. 2015 Submission of draft regulations to Office of Administrative Law by Oct. 2015 (OAL process may take up to 12 months) Water recycling State Water Resources Control Board April 2015 June 2015 Groundwater Plans and Project Grant Program – Phase 1 Department of Water Resources March 2015 TBD Groundwater Sustainability
State Water Resources Control Board In process TBD Multibenefit projects to achieve public safety and enhance fish/wildlife, including Delta levee maintenance and improvements DWR/Central Valley Flood Protection Board In process TBD