“When God doesn’t provide the water, it’s not here,” the governor said, as he toured the World Ag Expo Wednesday in drought-weary Tulare. “But we are changing regulatory rules; we’re going to make it as best we can given some very tough circumstances.”
Brown said the needs of California’s northern, central and southern regions often conflict – which makes it hard to find water policies that satisfy the entire state.
“If Tulare was California, we’d have a very different situation,” Brown said. “But Tulare is part – not just of California, but the country with all its federal laws and rules and judges and everybody else. So look, if anybody can get it done, I can get it done, and I am working night and day to achieve that.”
The governor is expected to return to the Valley on Friday, when President Obama visits Fresno to discuss the drought.
State's Arts Council Wants More Money
The California Arts Council is asking for five times as much state funding as it gets now.
It’s backing a newly-introduced bill by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) that would set aside $25 million a year from the state’s general fund. The council’s budget once topped $30 million, but has dwindled to just $5 million a year for much of the last decade.
Council Chair Wylie Aitken told a legislative committee Wednesday that even though the new money would just be a small step forward, it would be significant.
“We’ll take that step and make it become a leap and make that spark and that seed produce incredible results for California and frankly for the humanness that resides in all of us,” Aitken said.
Jerry Brown established the California Arts Council in the 1970s, during his first stint as governor. Brown’s Department of Finance declined comment on this measure, but he’s repeatedly warned lawmakers against new spending despite the state’s budget surplus.
January brought above-average rainfall and snow to much of California, partly due to El Niño. But forecasters say the ocean warming condition is "taking a break" for the next week or longer.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says, other than a slight reduction in exceptional drought in the northern Sierra, it needs more time to assess impacts of the recent moisture on California's long-term drought.
California regulators have made modest adjustments to water conservation requirements for cities.
The second measurement this winter of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was 130 percent of average. State water officials say the snowpack will help reservoir recovery.
California's water conservation rate dropped to 18 percent in December. But water regulators say the state continues to meet its long term goals.