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
Record summer heat has increased fire risk in California and the Western U.S. as drought conditions expand.
Statewide water conservation exceeded the mandatory goal in May and Sacramento reduced water use 40 percent.
In the fourth year of drought in California, sales and use of "safe and sane" fireworks are restricted in some areas, allowed in others.
A California Assembly committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would allow water districts to impose taxes on any business, industry or person who wastes water.
The drought can be blamed for a number of problems and the latest is a major decline in the duck population. A new survey shows lack of rain has led to poor habitats.