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
The California Department of Water Resources says the state’s snowpack is “dismally meager.” A lack of snow in the Sierra is keeping rivers low and drying up some reservoirs.
The City of Roseville is yanking grass and replacing it with drought-resistant landscaping to conserve water. Roseville also offers homeowners a 'Cash For Grass' rebate program.
The City of Sacramento says water customers in 2014 "cut water use to the lowest level per person per day in 100 years."
Salmon rely on cool water temperatures and aquatic plants to survive. So California’s drought has hit them particularly hard. But UC Davis researchers have found one area where the fish are flourishing.
The United States Department of Agriculture says January is shaping up to be another dry month in the Lake Tahoe area and that signals an unprecedented fourth year of drought.