The California Department of Water Resources has announced nearly $153 million in grants to regional water projects around the state.
The Department says 138 projects will share the money, and many of them will provide drought relief through expanded conservation and water recycling.
The money comes from a bond measure approved by voters in 2006. One of the projects includes a pipeline to provide recycled water to customers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The drought intensified over the last week in the Western U.S. as the region swelters under a heatwave and firefighters battle major wildfires.
Dangerous fire weather conditions has prompted one federal agency to impose fire restrictions on public lands in northern California.
Mandatory statewide water conservation rules have ended in California. But Sacramento-area users conserved 22 percent in June, compared to June 2013.
California and federal agencies say a new strategy is needed to save the endangered Delta smelt.
California is in the fifth consecutive year of drought, but state water managers ended mandatory conservation rules. Local water suppliers now determine conservation rates, and some have low or no targets. A water expert says that's 'shortsighted.'