Striving for Equity in Public Water Investments

Report cover
Client:   UCLA Institute on the Environment and Sustainability

Frequent collaborator Jon Christensen engaged GreenInfo Network to help analyze how well Proposition 1, a statewide water bond, is doing in meeting its goals of directing funds to disadvantaged communities. 

California voters approved the $7.5 billion bond measure in 2014 to fund water quality, supply, and infrastructure improvements. The proposition included significant provisions to prioritize investments in disadvantaged communities. These provisions, combined with public data from the Department of Water Resources, allowed us to do a midstream analysis and assess how well the proposition is meeting its goals for funding in disadvantaged communities.

For this report, funded by Resources Legacy Fund, we analyzed the $2.5 billion that had been assigned to projects as of April 2019 out of $7 billion of the bond funding that has been committed so far through budget appropriations. We analyzed how much of that funding is going to projects benefiting disadvantaged communities and technical assistance efforts to increase the capacity of those communities to secure funds and manage projects. 

"[O]ur analysis shows that when you prioritize equity, funding does go to the disadvantaged communities that most need it," said Christensen, author of the report. "The lessons we are learning from Prop 1 implementation need to be front and center as California policymakers make important decisions about future funding for water and other environmental projects." 

This study on Prop 1 is especially timely, since it is being released as state leaders are considering a handful of proposals to put a new bond measure on the ballot to conserve and increase water supply, provide flood protection, and reduce wildfire impact. 

Focus:   Environment, Social Justice/Equity  

Services:  GIS Services, Communications, Graphic Design, Publications, Data 

Tags:   ArcGIS Pro  

Project Years: 2019

GreenInfo Network creates, analyzes, visualizes and communicates information in the public interest. We specialize in mapping and related technology for nonprofits and public agencies, focusing on using it for conservation, social equity, public health, environment and foundation grant making.
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