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Op-Ed: 68 will prepare California for climate change

Sacramento Bee

Jay Ziegler & Tim Quinn

May 16, 2018

California’s safe drinking water and natural resources are increasingly threatened by drought, wildfires, floods and mudslides.

Proposition 68 is designed to help make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The measure was placed on the June 5 ballot by a bipartisan, two-thirds vote of the Legislature to make much-needed investments to bolster the reliability of our water supply and the infrastructure we depend on to help get us through wet and dry years.

The Nature Conservancy’s mission goes beyond land conservation. We aim to protect the waters on which all life depends. That is why we partnered with the Association of California Water Agencies to support Prop. 68.

Sacramento’s risk of flooding is among the greatest of any major city in the country. If passed, Prop. 68 will invest $550 million for flood protection and repair. That includes $350 million for projects in the Central Valley; $100 million for competitive grants to capture stormwater, prevent mudslides and implement other flood-related protections; and $100 million for urban flood projects to make our water supplies more secure.

Prop. 68 will also make some important investments in Sacramento, including $10 million to restore and improve the American River Parkway. With roughly 8 million visitor days per year, the parkway is the most popular recreational resource in the Sacramento area and a vital source of our area’s water supply.

The Nature Conservancy and the Association of California Water Agencies joined leaders throughout the state to support Prop. 68, including Gov. Jerry Brown, American Lung Association in California, California Chamber of Commerce, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, California Labor Federation, American Farmland Trust of California, the Wildlands Conservancy and many, many more.

With Prop. 68, California voters have the opportunity to safeguard our drinking water and protect what makes California special: our river parkways, open spaces, natural areas, forests and beautiful places where families hike, camp, swim and play. Please join us in working toward a safer and more prosperous future for our region by voting “yes.”

Jay Ziegler is director of external affairs and policy for The Nature Conservancy and can be contacted at jay_ziegler@tnc.org. Tim Quinn is executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies and can be contacted at timq@acwa.com.

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