Discovering the Crowd’s Wisdom About California’s Water Bond

The California Legislature passed the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act in 2009 to ask voters to approve $11.14 billion in general obligation bonds for projects and programs to improve water supply reliability and ecosystem health in the Delta.  The water bond has been removed twice from ballots (2010 and 2012) due to concerns about the bond’s size and project earmarking.

The Legislature is currently considering seven bills that would remove the 2009 Act’s water bond from the November 2014 ballot and offer voters a new water bond.   For this to happen, the Legislature must pass and the Governor sign legislation by June 26, 2014.

The water industry is abuzz about the water bond and related legislative activity.  Hydrowonk asks the “water crowd” to share their wisdom on the issue.  Predictions markets have a track record of accurately prediction future events and thousands have been used in the private and public sector.

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Today, we have made public Stratecon Water Policy Marketplace that uses prediction markets to assess the likelihood of future events.  We have put up three questions about California’s water bond:

  • will California voters pass the water bond from the 2009 Act?
  • will the California Legislature and Governor act before the June 26, 2014 deadline and replace the existing water bond with a new one?
  • what will be the size of the new water bond?

So, have some waterwonk fun, let’s create a crowd and see where our collective wisdom leads.  Our marketplace is free.

For more information on prediction markets and the water industry, go to or read my two posts, Why Prediction Markets for the Water Industry and What Are Prediction Markets and Why Do They Work?


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About Rodney T. Smith

Rodney T. Smith, Ph.D., President of Stratecon Inc.—an economics and strategic planning consulting firm—advises public and private sector water users on the acquisition, sale and leasing of water rights and water supplies in the western U.S. He is routinely involved in economic valuation of water rights, water investments, and negotiation of water acquisition and transportation agreements and has served as an expert witness in the economic valuation of groundwater resources, disputes over the economic interpretation of water contracts, economics of water conservation and water use practices, and the socio-economic impacts of land fallowing. For more information, see