Western Growers Association is giving $250,000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 1, the water bond initiative on California’s November ballot. The trade group anticipates matching that number in additional member contributions.

Proposition 1, if approved by voters, would provide $7.5 billion for various water projects statewide. Benefits to agriculture include:

  • $2.7 billion for large surface storage and groundwater storage projects;
  • $800 million for groundwater cleanup projects, which help reduce pressure on agricultural water sources from urban agencies; and
  • $725 million for water recycling projects such as those used on the Central Coast to provide irrigation water by treating wastewater, and for desalination.

“We need as many people as possible to contribute,” Western Growers president and chief executive officer Tom Nassif said in an e-mail release to members. “Proposition 1 represents the first commitment by the state of California in decades to funding real water projects that will help our industry. But if the voters reject it, we won’t get another chance for many years, even decades. We must not let this historic opportunity slip out of our grasp.”

Active support from Gov. Jerry Brown is helping chances for passage, Nassif said.