Customers Eligible to Benefit for the First Time from All Sources of Bond Proceeds
Robert W. Nicholson, President of the California Water Association (CWA), which represents 114 water utilities regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission, released the following statement regarding the passage of Proposition 1, the “Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.”
“The California Water Association applauds the passage of this historic $7.5 billion bond. CWA commends the Governor and the Legislature for crafting the bond in a manner that resulted in broad support and avoided the pitfalls that forced the 2010 and 2012 versions to be postponed.
“For the first time in a statewide water bond, on a basis comparable to government-owned water utilities, customers of regulated water utilities will be able to realize benefits from bond funding. Specifically, these funds will help offset customer costs for critical infrastructure projects like recycled water, groundwater clean-up, water-use efficiency, and safe drinking water for smaller systems in economically disadvantaged communities – all of which go beyond traditional supply sources and distribution needs.
“Despite the fact that regulated water utility customers pay equally for general obligation bonds through their taxes, in the past they were penalized because, unlike their government-owned utility counterparts, regulated water utilities often were not eligible to apply for grants associated with such bonds.
“The CWA Board of Directors agreed to support Proposition 1 on September 16, following CWA’s successful efforts earlier this year to ensure customers of regulated water utilities are eligible to benefit from bond funding.
“California’s regulated water utilities look forward to competing for and securing bond funding for eligible projects that improve drinking water quality in communities served by regulated water utilities; increase the use of water recycling and advanced water treatment technology; and help clean up contaminated groundwater aquifers.”