Jerry Brown visits San Diego to promote Proposition 1, California’s $7.5-billion water bond
By TONY PERRY
SAN DIEGO – Backed by politicians from both parties, California Gov. Jerry Brown brought his whirlwind campaign to San Diego on Wednesday to urge passage of Proposition 1, the $7.5-billion water bond.
Brown made no mention of the fact he is seeking reelection on the same ballot.
At a news conference outside the San Diego County Water Authority, the Democratic governor noted that many of the things in the water bond are â€œideas that have been around for decadesâ€ but have been delayed by various kinds of political strife.
Nothing is more fundamental than water. We have to pull together and use our technology and wealth.
– Gov. Jerry Brown
Now, with the state parched by drought, water warriors from various camps have set aside old rivalries to urge passage of Proposition 1 to provide greater storage and enhanced treatment of contaminated ground water, among other projects.
â€œNothing is more fundamental than water,â€ Brown said. â€œWe have to pull together and use our technology and wealth.â€
But on one of the stateâ€™s more dire water issues — the environmental threat posed by a shrinking Salton Sea — Brown was careful not to make any promises.
Various plans to â€œsaveâ€ the sea, which straddles Riverside and Imperial counties, run into the billions of dollars, Brown noted.
â€œIâ€™d certainly like to find a way to do better to the Salton Sea than we have,â€ Brown said in response to a question.
But Salton Sea projects will have to compete with other water projects, he said. â€œI think weâ€™ll leave the Salton Sea as a question to be asked and answeredâ€ after Proposition 1 passes, he said.
Local officials, however, said they are confident that projects to help the sea — and prevent the massive dust storms predicted if the sea continues to shrink — stand a good chance at getting some of the several hundred million dollars set aside for environmental projects.
â€œI think we can make the Salton Sea into a reservoir instead of a sump,â€ said state Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego).
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, said that Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 — which sets aside money for budget shortfalls — â€œare essential for California.â€
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said the group favoring the water bond — including officials from business and labor groups, and rural and urban areas — â€œis about as broad a coalitionâ€ as she has seen in politics.