Loading... Please wait...

Are We Nuts to Rely on Proposition 1?


In November, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1, officially known as the Water Quality, Supply and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. Of the $7.5 billion measure, $2.7 billion is devoted specifically to water storage improvements, dams and reservoirs. This is good news for many farmers and municipalities across the states that want larger storage facilities, but who have historically found funding opportunities to be rare.

“Prop 1 is a step in the right direction for addressing water shortage issues in California,” said Brad Elliott, Director of BTL Liners. “While it will not solve all issues, intelligent use of surface water storage is a key part of the big picture in dealing with the current drought situation and insurance for the future of agricultural production and other water use needs around the State.”

Drought in California has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of acres of almonds as farmers are forced to choose which crops to keep alive and which to forfeit.

Water storage can capture and hold rain and stormwater, protect against flooding, provide a reliable water source during dry periods and even help recharge groundwater aquifers. Rapidly growing populations, a decade or more of exceptionally dry weather throughout the western United States, and warmer temperatures which continue to prevent the replenishment of the Sierra snowpack have all contributed to unprecedented stress on California’s water supplies.

Ultimately, Proposition 1 is meant to mitigate these stresses through carefully applied and coordinated funding. The bond states that water storage projects must be approved by the California Water Commission, they must be shown to provide specific public benefits and they must pass extensive environmental review. In addition, since bond funds can cover just under half the cost of the project, additional funding sources must be proven.

Any individual surface water storage project, regardless of size, has the potential to provide multiple benefits if it is thoughtfully located and properly designed. It allows for the “banking” of water supplies, which can then be provide for the highest and best use of that water supply which may be for irrigation, fire-fighting, replenishing aquifers, local water supplies, etc.

Irrigation ponds and other surface water storage projects can contribute to an overall effort to maintain water supplies where they are most needed.

The importance of the initiatives funded by Proposition 1 cannot be underestimated. It is critical that these programs and initiatives are unified and coordinated throughout the state so that one area does not achieve benefits at the expense of another. Clearly, projects that provide multiple benefits to a community should be given priority to ensure that dollars spent have a widespread positive effect. Let us not overlook, however, that farmers can also take steps to reinforce the state’s progress toward establishing a sustainable water supply.

Farmers and other land owners can reinforce the efforts of municipalities and publicly-owned water facilities by creating or improving their privately-owned surface water storage projects. Though these projects may be of a smaller scale, they contribute to the overall effort to place and store water supplies where they may do the most good and contribute to establishing a sustainable water supply for all uses.

Growth Anticipated within Geomembrane Market

According to a new research report by reportsonreports.com, the overall geomembranes market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.16% through 2019. Significant opportunities are seen both in waste management and water management, but the mining industry, in particular, demonstrates huge growth potential as the world economy begins to recover and commodity prices rise. Governments around [...]

Read More »

Can Irrigation Reservoirs Save Our Farms?

Ponds are a common sight on farms and ranches across the country, and are usually used for stock watering, fish farming, or simply landscape beautification. Farmers and ranchers are beginning to view these traditional features in a new light today, as modern agriculture practices and the mounting effects of climate change require them to consider new options for providing water [...]

Read More »

BTL’s Record Breaking Irrigation Reservoir

360,000 sq ft of liner was installed on day 1 BEFORE LUNCH! We’re on our way to a record breaking installation for this 1.6 million sq ft project!BTL has developed a reputation for both innovation and leadership in the RPE liners industry since the 1980s when we pioneered the development of heavyweight reinforced polyethylene liners. We continue to introduce exciting [...]

Read More »

Stormwater Management Innovation

Stormwater retention ponds can be beautiful and valuable additions to a community.In our last blog, we discussed the basics of stormwater management, including explanations for traditional and “green” stormwater treatments. We received several follow-up questions from people who were wondering what we believe will be next in the development of stormwater technology. The world has [...]

Read More »

Stormwater Management

A traditional method of stormwater management involves diverting water as quickly as possible away from where it falls. In Las Vegas, where it rains only occasionally but heavily, the huge volumes of fast-moving water can be dangerous and destructive.BTL’s interest and involvement in the stormwater industry has been well established over the years, so we [...]

Read More »

The Two Bulls Fire and Water Retention Ponds

In the Deschutes National Forest, just west of our neighboring community of Bend, Oregon, a large forest fire, named Two Bulls Fire, has burned over 6,900 acres in the past week; the fire has spread very close to the town and prompted hundreds of evacuations. A pall of smoke continues to cover the area as [...]

Read More »

Why We're "Made in North America"

All our products are proudly made in North America!It has become a common refrain among Americans that we should “buy local” and look for “Made in the USA” labeling on our consumer products. How many people, though, have really considered all the factors that support the publicity to buy American? Obviously, as the economy has [...]

Read More »

Golf Courses: Why So Much Water?

If you have ever golfed, you have probably been faced with landing your ball in a water hazard. If you are a frequent offender, you may have even wondered why course designers insist on incorporating so much water! While the widespread use of artificially constructed golf course ponds and other water hazards didn’t begin until sometime [...]

Read More »

BTL's Customer Focused Strategy

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Economic conditions around the world continue to be challenging, and businesses must consider how they will respond in order to survive. We have observed that many large players in the geotextile lining industry are changing business strategies with the aim of satisfying stockholders, even at the expense of their customers. As businesses [...]

Read More »

Since 1981, BTL has designed, fabricated and constructed liners and containment systems for projects all over the world!

Applications include: Recreational Pond & Lake Liners & Containment Systems, Energy Industry Liners & Containment Systems, Ranch & Farm Tarps, Liners & Containment Systems, Environmental Covers, Containment Systems, Pits and Conservation Solutions, Commercial Containment Liners, Waterscape Projects, Storm Water Containment, Government Projects, Hazardous Containment Projects and more!