The money is intended to help farmers, farm workers and rural communities.
Mr. Obama held a roundtable in Firebaugh, about 45 minutes west of Fresno. Valley Public Radio's Rebecca Plevin spoke with a fourth-generation farmer there today and says money isn't enough.
"They don’t need financial aid right now; what they need is water. And he says that in the short term, they need to start pumping water from the Delta; and in the long term, they really need more water storage," reports Plevin.
The President is also visiting a farm in Los Banos this afternoon.
Joining him on the trip are California Governor Jerry Brown, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Congressman Jim Costa.
CapRadio's Drought Coverage
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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