Hundreds of farmworkers gathered outside Fresno City Hall ahead of the meeting on Wednesday morning. They held signs and chanted, "Water, water!" in both English and Spanish.
The House Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing about the state's drought. It heard testimony from Central Valley farmers, community leaders and state officials.
California is in its third consecutive dry year. Gov. Jerry Brown in January declared a drought emergency, and in February President Barack Obama visited to see the crisis firsthand, delivering millions of dollars in relief aid.
A congressional committee is taking up California's drought crisis in Fresno at the heart of the state's agricultural region.
The House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday will hear testimony from Central Valley farmers, community leaders and state water officials - all grappling with the drought. The hearing at Fresno's City Hall is titled "California Water Crisis and its Impacts: The Need for Immediate and Long-Term Solutions."
California is in its third consecutive dry year. Gov. Jerry Brown in January declared a drought emergency, and in February President Barack Obama visited to see the crisis firsthand, delivering millions in relief aid.
Democratic Rep. Jim Costa, who serves on the committee, says he hopes the hearing in his hometown will bring solutions rather than enflame partisan politics over water.
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.