Jerry Brown Proposes $6 Billion Water Bond for California

Aug 06, 2014 3:25 am ET

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- California Governor Jerry Brown called on lawmakers to put a reduced $6 billion “no frills” bond measure on the November ballot to improve the water supply in the midst of a record drought.

In a message on his campaign website, the 76-year-old Democrat said an $11.1 billion bond proposal approved by lawmakers and then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009, scheduled for a vote this year, would saddle the state with too much debt.

More than 80 percent of California is experiencing extreme drought after three years of record low rainfall. Reservoirs are 45 percent below normal and declining. Brown has called for a statewide voluntary reduction of water use by 20 percent.

“I’m proposing a no-frills, no-pork water bond that invests in the most critical projects without breaking the bank,” the governor said

Brown’s letter comes as California lawmakers try to reach agreement on a smaller bond measure to shore up supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to population centers in Southern California.