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Can bullet train funds help solve California’s water crisis?




Cattle walk on dried grass in Raymond, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, farmers in the Central Valley are struggling to keep their crops watered.
Cattle walk on dried grass in Raymond, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, farmers in the Central Valley are struggling to keep their crops watered.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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California’s bullet train bond funds could be used instead to fund water conservation efforts if one initiative is on November’s voter ballot.

George Runner, Board of Equalization board member, and Sen. Bob Huff (R-San Dimas), co-authored an initiative that would repurpose $8 billion into building new water storage projects and aiding cities in dealing with storm water runoff. Runner argues that “California needs water, not bullet trains.” Some $2 million have been spent to get enough signatures to ensure the initiative will be on November’s ballot.

Supporters of the initiative include the state’s agriculture industry, while opposers include environmentalist groups.

Do you think reallocating the bullet train funds with help alleviate the drought?

Guests:

Aubrey Bettencourt, the Executive Director of the California Water Alliance 

Doug Obegi, a senior attorney with NRDC's water program