Bond funds conservancies with unclear water role

SACRAMENTO (AP) - The water measure on the November ballot includes nearly $300 million for land conservancies that have little if any connection to California's water supply and delivery systems.

Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown say a historic drought drove them to place the $7.5 billion water plan before voters. That includes funding for 10 regional conservancies that are tasked primarily with buying land and restoring wildlife habitat.

Supporters acknowledge the money can go to bicycle trails and parks, in part so lawmakers can show they helped their districts. Critics say such projects doomed a previous water measure.

The new version strips mentions of specific projects.

Conservancy directors defended the funding, saying their projects can indirectly improve water quality.

The measure will go before voters as Proposition 1 on the November ballot.


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