In testimony before the California Legislature, Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman outlined the flood protection and water management elements of Gov. Schwarzenegger's Strategic Growth Plan. Chrisman outlined the Schwarzenegger Administration's proposals for the Flood Protection and Clean, Safe and Reliable Water Supply Bond and Financing Acts of 2006 and 2010.
"Under the governor's plan, we will invest $35 billion in flood protection and water management over the next 10 years to strengthen our levees and provide clean and reliable water supplies," said Chrisman. "These bonds will provide $3 billion in 2006 and $6 billion in 2010 to keep people safe, ensure California's quality of life and promote the state's continued economic growth."
The governor's Strategic Growth Plan lays out more than $222 billion in infrastructure investments, of which $68 billion will be financed with general obligation bonds. It is a sustained investment approach that will match investment strategy with specific projects. For flood control and water management, these include: water quality, water supply and flood protection.
"The most urgently needed components of the governor's proposal will make critical repairs and improvements in our flood control infrastructure," Chrisman said. "This administration has not been complacent. More than a year ago, we published a plan for responding to California's flood crisis explaining that our failure to maintain and improve the flood control system has created 'a ticking time-bomb' for flood management in California."
Flood control and water management plans are outlined in the Flood White Paper (Flood Warnings: Responding to California's Flood Crisis) that the governor issued more than a year ago and in the California Water Plan Update, out in draft since April 2005 and slated for release later this month.
"We know that a major flood could easily overwhelm California's existing flood system and lead to devastating consequences for our people, property and environment," Chrisman said. "The governor's Strategic Growth Plan presents a great opportunity to better protect Californians from this risk with the largest single investment in flood management since the system was built 50 years ago.
"These proposed bond measures will allow us to make the investments needed to implement the new water plan. We will be able keep our existing systems working, protect communities, develop new water supplies, and give each region tools to improve water quality, protect threatened watersheds, and conserve and recycle water supplies so that we can avoid shortages in the future."
Secretary Chrisman offered testimony on Gov. Schwarzenegger's Strategic Growth Plan before the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.