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Central Valley Will Get Millions For Drought Relief

U.S. Department of the Interior |  Bureau of Reclamation

Buckhorn Dam in the Central Valley Project.

U.S. Department of the Interior | Bureau of Reclamation

Governor Jerry Brown and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today the US Bureau of Reclamation is allocating $29 million for the Central Valley Project, a water project which stretches 400 miles and provides enough water for a third of California’s farm land. The money will go toward drought monitoring, pumping projects and water efficiency efforts, among other things.

Governor Jerry Brown acknowledges the money can’t stop the drought. But he says it will be helpful.

"The only person who can produce water is Mother Nature," he says. "So all we can do is facilitate and set in motion the best science we can, the best hydrological management we can and the best farming practices."

Brown says managing California’s water supply is his top concern as he begins his fourth term in office.

"It’s very contentious," he says. "Farmers say they’re fighting fish, environmentalists are saying they’re fighting destructive forces. North and south. Republicans and Democrats."

Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen welcomes the money, which she says will help struggling rural and agricultural communities. But she says California must continue to focus on long-term water solutions.

"Last November, voters approved a historic Water Bond that guarantees funding for additional surface storage," she said in a statement. "Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and make sure that promise is kept."

Both the Assembly and Senate will hold oversight meetings on the water bond next week.