Jerry Brown, Interior secretary announce new drought funding

Gov. Jerry Brown, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announce $20-million Central Valley drought relief plan

Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Friday a $29-million plan to help California's parched Central Valley cope with the ongoing drought. 

The money is intended to upgrade scientific monitoring in the Delta, which helps officials gauge how to supply the water necessary to support crops and keep the environment healthy. There's also money to restore watersheds that are important natural habitats and improve pumping operations.

There's another $22.6 million from the federal government for water projects throughout the western states, and California may be able to get some of that funding through a competitive grant program.

"California is ground zero for drought," Jewell said.

The Capitol press conference was a chance for Jewell and the Obama administration to express their commitment to help the state and the rest of the West deal with a drought that's entering its fourth year and has caused billions of dollars in economic damage.

"Every $50 million counts," Brown said. "It's an important indicator that California and the federal government are good partners."

Jewell added, "It's not going to fix things, but it's certainly going to make a difference."

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