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Californians Get $9.7 Million In Fed Drought Aid


(AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $9.7 million in new drought aid on Friday to help rural Californians hurt by the state's three-year drought.

The money will help secure water supplies for 73,000 Californians in 11 counties, the U.S. Agriculture Department said in a statement.

Recipients include the small city of Farmersville in Tulare County, where a $500,000 grant will connect residents with dry wells to a water main.

The Obama administration says it has designated more than $50 million in drought-related aid for California. All but one of the state's 58 counties are now federally designated disaster areas because of the drought, making farmers and ranchers eligible for emergency loans.

The National Weather Service says 81 percent of the state is now in extreme or exceptional drought.

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