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Legislation provides $687M to support drought relief

Published On: Feb 19 2014 02:29:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 05:11:41 PM CST
Desert Drought
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

With California experiencing its worst water shortage crisis in modern history, Governor Brownjoined Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez on Wednesday to announce legislation to immediately help communities deal with the devastating dry conditions affecting our state and provide funding to increase local water supplies.

"This is a call to action. We must all do our part to conserve in this drought," said Governor Brown. "The state is doing its part by providing immediate funding for drinking water, food, housing and assistance for water-conserving technologies," said Governor Brown.

According to a release from the governor's office, the legislation provides $687.4 million to support drought relief, including money for housing and food for workers directly impacted by the drought, bond funds for projects to help local communities more efficiently capture and manage water and funding for securing emergency drinking water supplies for drought-impacted communities.

In addition, the legislation increases funding for state and local conservation corps to assist communities with efficiency upgrades and reduce fire fuels in fire risk areas, and includes $1 million for the Save Our Water public awareness campaign - which will enhance its mission to inform Californians how they can do their part to conserve water.

 "By making smart use of these funds, we can alleviate and prevent some of the worst impacts of the drought and, at the same time, make badly needed improvements to our water system that will benefit California for years to come," Speaker Pérez said.

"These targeted responses will have tangible results, but the solution requires more than legislation and investment. Every Californian needs to be a part of the solution, and we strongly urge every person in our state to take action to conserve water," Pérez added.

Governor Brown called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20% at Wednesday's press conference.