This month the U.S. agreed to provide $50 million for drought relief as California enters the fourth year of drought conditions. This funding will include $20 million for the Central Valley Water Project to address water transfers, drought monitoring for endangered species and diversifying water supplies.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency last January and signed a $687 million drought relief package. California residents cut monthly water use by 22% in December complying with state mandates to reduce water use by 20%.
Governor Brown has proposed spending $115 million for emergency drinking water and money for increased firefighting needs this year as well as part of his budget recommendations.
The California Office of Emergency Services reported last week in its bi-weekly drought brief that January 2015 finished up as one of the driest Januaries on historical record with very little meaningful precipitation throughout the state. At this time, California is only delivering 15% of the water requested from the state's vast reservoir system to farmers and local water agencies.
The ongoing drought conditions are having a variety of social, environmental and economic impacts throughout the state. The latest updates on drought conditions and state/local community actions can be viewed at California's Drought Information Clearinghouse via http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_droughtinfo.php.