Of the 11 propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot, we found Proposition 3, an $8.9 billion water bond, to be the closest call. California has no shortage of water needs, but voters approved a $4 billion parks, environment and water bond in June.

The case against Proposition 3: Unlike the June bond, which was placed on the ballot by the Legislature, this measure is a product of the initiative process. It was drafted and bankrolled by organizations that stand to benefit from its approval.

The case for Proposition 3: California’s severe drought exposed widespread problems with the state’s water supply that can only be fixed with investments in watershed protection, conservation, groundwater recharge and infrastructure repairs.

What tips the balance? Much of the money will be distributed as grants by state agencies, and Sonoma County Water Agency officials anticipate funding from several categories, including wastewater recycling, urban and agricultural water conservation, flood control and storm water management. Small water systems throughout the region also could qualify for funding.

It’s a close call, but with the expectation of funding for local water projects, we say thumbs up to Proposition 3.

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