California will have a $7.5 billion water bond on the ballot this November and it’s a promising replacement of an earlier bond proposal. But over the next decade, the state will need $200 billion to create a sustainable water system. That’s what Mark Cowin, the director of California’s Department of Water Resources, says we have to remember, even if voters approve the new bond.
Cowin took part in a conversation about water at the California Economic Summit – Capitol Day and we caught up with him on the water bond and beyond.
Figureing out how to pay for the long-term water needs of the state, something important to the growth of our economy in both rural and urban California, will need some innovative and visionary effort. There’s been discussion of “drought pricing” of water services in order to include a “real” cost to providing water during the dry times. But, Cowin says ultimately, the goal of a reliable water system for the coming decades will rely substantially on local ratepayers.