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
(AP) - The latest figures show Californians' water use is still on the rise since the state lifted mandatory conservation for the drought.
(AP) - President Barack Obama has signed a bill authorizing water projects across the country, including $170 million to address lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and $558 million to provide relief to drought-stricken California.
Rivers in the Sacramento area were reaching levels not seen in a decade on Thursday night.
California state agencies have released a long-term plan for water conservation. The proposal makes permanent some emergency water conservation measures already in place to deal with the state’s drought.
California regulators hear from residents and farmers concerned about a plan to provide more water for threatened fish in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries.