California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a $1 billion aid package with money for emergency drought relief and long-term water projects.
The governor and state lawmakers have called these measures “emergency drought legislation.” But they acknowledge there’s little they – or anyone – can offer in true emergency aid that will help California through its fourth year of drought.
Of the more than $1 billion made available in this legislation, there’s less than 30 million in new funding for immediate help such as food assistance and emergency water supply. The bills also speed up another hundred-million dollars or so from the current year’s budget for other emergency measures, like drinking water and to protect fish and wildlife.
The rest is for longer-term projects, like water recycling, desalination, conservation and flood protection.
“Make no mistake,” the governor said in a statement as he signed the bills, “rain is not in the forecast and every Californian must be doing their utmost to conserve water.”