The governor can’t control the weather, but he does have quite a bit of power over the budget. Brown and Democratic leaders want to spend more than $680 million on projects to provide immediate, and longer term, drought relief.
“We don’t know when it’s going to rain. Or, if it does rain, we don’t know how long it’s going to rain," Brown said. "And, therefore, we really don’t know how bad the drought is going to be over the next year or two or three."
Brown’s plan requires legislative approval. Most of the money will come from bonds earmarked for water infrastructure. Much will go toward projects that help communities capture and manage water.
State Republicans say the Democrat's plan does not go far enough. They say they'll propose legislation of their own.
Drought, dead and dying trees and a lack of snow in California have left national forests in a perfect condition for large and severe wildfires.
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.