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      Water Vote Expected Monday At State Capitol

      State lawmakers have scheduled a vote for{}Monday on comprehensive water reform.

      The plans address the state's water storage and supply needs, and makes much-needed repairs to infrastructure at the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

      The{}$9 billion bond proposal{}includes $3 billion to help pay for dams or other water storage projects. It also creates new agencies to buy and preserve Delta land and oversee water use in the Delta.

      The bond proposal, which was sponsored by Modesto Senator Dave Cogdill, will first be referred to the Senate Budget Committee, then{}to the Budget Sub-Committee 2 on Resources. They will{}then vote on the bill{}and then{}send it back to the Budget Committee for another vote. If the proposal makes it through all of that it{}will then{}move to the Senate floor.

      It must be approved by a two-thirds vote before going to{}the voters. It could be placed on the November 2010 ballot.

      The measure aims to help alleviate the water crisis statewide. Farmers on the valley's Westside have been hit hard by low water deliveries and severe drought conditions.

      Farmers say the water crisis had led them to leave a quarter-million acres of land idle; thousands across the valley are without work. Some cities report unemployment rates as high as 40 percent.