SACRAMENTO - Gov. Brown announced $687 million dollars in emergency drought relief for California. The money will fund various projects: more use of recycled water, expanded capture of storm water drainage and water conservation programs.
Those with dangerously low drinking water supplies will receive $15 million and more than $25 million will go toward food assistance in communities affected by drought. More than a dozen communities are at risk of running out of water within the next couple of months, according to state officials.
Brown's drought package is right on time. The governor and legislative leaders expect this package to get fast-tracked through the State Capitol, perhaps on the governor's desk by the end of February. These changes could take effect in less than three weeks if that happens.
So, where's the money coming from? A majority of it will come from unused bond money that was already approved by votes back in 2006. That's bond money designated for water quality, water supply and disaster preparedness. There could be even more relief on the way.
President Obama pledged federal relief and lawmakers are still negotiating changes to an $11.1 billion water bond that is on the November ballot. It's supposed to provide the longer-term fixes sought by farmers and cities.