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Federal Agency Provides $150 Million For Drought Projects In California

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Joe Moore
/
Valley Public Radio
Watershed restoration projects are a major component of the funding.

A federal agency is providing $150 million to help California deal with the on-going drought.

Most of the money, from the U.S. Agriculture Department, will be used for U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service watershed restoration projects in the Sierra Nevada.

California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird says those projects will benefit the 25 million Californians that rely on Sierra supply for drinking water. And also the irrigation needs of agricultural users downstream in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

Laird "We are just facing an unprecedented time, the four driest years that we have had in sequence in California history, that taxes our agricultural industry as well as the individual citizens. Stepping up with the drought assistance is just the kind of support that is very helpful, it's targeted to people that have their backs against the wall and really need it right now."

Roughly 35 percent of the Western U.S. is in severe to exceptional drought.  In California, there is no mountain snowpack runoff this summer. 

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