President Obama visited California's Central Valley to view the damage caused by the drought and announce more than 170 million dollars in federal aid.
The money is intended to help farmers, farm workers and rural communities.
"We know that we can innovate and meet this challenge, but we’ve got to start now – we can’t wait. So I want to make sure that every Californian knows – whether you’re NorCal, SoCal, here in the CV – your country is going to be here for you when you need it this year. But we’re gonna have to all work together in the years to come to make sure that we address the challenge and leave this incredible land and body to our children and our grandchildren in at least as good shape as we found it,” said the President.
Click the "Listen now" button above to hear the full 12-minute speech.
The President also praised the drought aid bill introduced by California Senators Dianne Feinstein nd Barbara Boxer.
The senators and Governor Jerry Brown joined the President on the Central Valley visit. It also included what the White House calls a “community roundtable” in Firebaugh, about 45 minutes west of Fresno.
CapRadio's Drought Coverage
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.