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California to decide about $7.5bn water plan

Staff writer |
California lawmakers voted to place a $7.5 billion water plan before voters in November. The measure is designed to build reservoirs, clean up contaminated groundwater and promote water-saving technologies.

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Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation shortly after the Legislature acted. The plan replaces an existing water bond that was approved by a previous Legislature but widely considered too costly and too bloated with pork-barrel projects to win favor with voters.

California has been struggling to meet the increasing demands for water after three dry winters. Numerous agricultural, environmental and business groups endorsed the legislative compromise. The plan includes $7.1 billion in new borrowing and $400 million from previous bonds that would be redirected to the updated water priorities. Redirecting that money requires voter approval.

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