Senator blasts water storage approval process

Sen. Scott Wilk
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State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, has asked the California Water Commission to approve 11 water reservoir projects that have applied for funding, but haven’t been given final approval due to the commission’s application and review process.

The senator’s ire is in part due to him being a co-author of Proposition 1, a measure that was endorsed by both major political parties when voters gave their approval in 2014.

“Last winter, we had an historically wet winter yet the bulk of that rainfall washed out to sea because California has not addressed increased major water storage capacity since 1979. This year water officials already predict parts of the state are in a severe drought and once again we are unprepared,” Wilk said in a statement. “Voters authorized $7.5 billion in bond money for water infrastructure projects in 2014. While these bonds have been sold, the money sits in the state’s coffers unspent. Not one of the proposals, including integral storage projects like Temperance Flat, have been given the green light by bureaucrats in Sacramento.”

The water commission’s application process is extremely difficult to navigate and that has led to an application process that is delaying the approval of projects, the senator said.

“The Water Commission was tasked and entrusted with carrying out the will of the voters—that the Prop. 1 funds be used expeditiously to help improve our state’s water collection, storage and conveyance infrastructure. I believe the Commission should reevaluate the WISP application process to ensure that goal is met,” Wilk said.

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