The governor can’t control the weather, but he does have quite a bit of power over the budget. Brown and Democratic leaders want to spend more than $680 million on projects to provide immediate, and longer term, drought relief.
“We don’t know when it’s going to rain. Or, if it does rain, we don’t know how long it’s going to rain," Brown said. "And, therefore, we really don’t know how bad the drought is going to be over the next year or two or three."
Brown’s plan requires legislative approval. Most of the money will come from bonds earmarked for water infrastructure. Much will go toward projects that help communities capture and manage water.
State Republicans say the Democrat's plan does not go far enough. They say they'll propose legislation of their own.
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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