June 15, 2018
Why is it that raising taxes is always the first option?
A recent Sacramento Bee editorial (Some 360,000 Californians can’t drink the water. And still no fix for this disgrace) focused exclusively on a proposal to impose a new water tax on water users to ensure clean drinking water statewide. Although the budget effort failed, the proponents of the water tax would have you believe the issue is simply about water contamination and the funds necessary to pay for new water treatment facilities. But that’s not true.
Without question, ensuring that all Californians have access to clean drinking water is critically important. Here’s a novel idea policy-makers should consider in addressing the underlying cause of this problem; federal and state regulators should operate the statewide water system in place to supply the maximum amount of water available to urban and rural communities. This, more than any other action, would do more to improve groundwater levels and improve water quality around the state, which would address harm caused by the weather- and regulatory-induced droughts.
The Bee editorial is right –– it’s not rocket science. California can improve water quality by allowing its water system to operate effectively. But, unlike the water tax, it will not cost one additional penny.
It’s time for honesty in the very worthwhile debate about how YOUR water is being prioritized.