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Brown Signs Drought Legislation, Calls For Conservation

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The grounds of the state Capitol, as seen from the top of its outer dome. The state has intentionally let much of its grass die off to save water during the drought.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

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.”

 drought

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio