Energy & Environment

California state Democrats propose spending $3.4B on drought

california drought continues march april national forecast dry no water suppliers cut off companies environment megadrought
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
A sign calls for dam water to help the agricultural communities of California’s San Joaquin Valley on the outskirts of Lemoore, California on March 31, 2021. – With winter rainfalls at historic lows, California is bracing itself for another drought only a few years after a 5-year dry spell that dried up rural wells and…

California state Democrats on Thursday proposed to spend $3.4 billion on the state’s current drought.

California reported in early April that 2021 is the third-driest year the state has seen and could contribute to another devastating wildfire season.

The proposal would tackle a myriad of issues, including protecting wildlife, paying off resident’s water bills and getting water to smaller, rural communities, The Associated Press reported.

The plan has $1 billion going toward paying off accumulated water bill debt among California residents. Another $285 million would go to protecting fish and wildlife.

Another $75 million would contribute to officials getting instruments to measure snow and rain so they can have more information before deciding how much water should stay in a reservoir. 

An additional $500 million will go to rural communities to provide them with storage tanks, trucks that can give emergency water to cisterns and drinkable water from larger water systems being connected to smaller systems for the communities, according to the AP.

We have communities that do not have adequate drinking water in the fifth-largest economy in the world,” California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins told The Hill earlier this month.

The state is also looking to spend $500 million on getting residents to replace their lawns with artificial grass or other landscaping that rely on less water than traditional yards.

The plan will be paid for in part by President Biden’s coronavirus relief package and state taxpayer money.

The spending needs to be agreed upon by the Assembly, Senate and Gov. Gavin Newson (D), the AP noted.

Tags California California drought Joe Biden

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