Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday that speeds up $1 billion in water infrastructure spending amid the worst drought in a generation, although much of the plan was drawn with future dry years in mind.
A plan to pump $1 billion of water spending into drought-stricken California cleared the Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign the legislation.
"When it comes to helicopter protection and firefighting, there is really no other tool out there that does what helicopters do," said Jason Nava, a captain and superintendent for the Kern County Fire Department.
The state Senate has approved a $1 billion proposal to speed up spending on water projects in drought-stricken California.
New water-use restrictions could keep Bakersfield spray parks closed all summer.
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Thursday proposed legislation to accelerate more than $1 billion in drought-relief spending for California as it copes with a fourth dry year and Brown urges residents to reduce water use.
Local water agencies and districts are sorting out exactly how they'll comply with new state rules requiring a limit to days outdoor watering is allowed.
State water officials have ordered more conservation measures, including restrictions on the number of days when outdoor watering will be allowed.
Big wildfires have burned almost four times as many California acres as usual so far this winter, a sign of wildfire danger growing higher still as the state moves into its fourth year of drought.
California water regulators have approved more restrictions on lawn watering and are adding new limits on water use by businesses as the drought persists.
The Metropolitan and Kern County water agencies and other water districts are now offering farmers around Northern California's Feather River more for their water than farmers would earn if they used the water to grow crops. At $700 an acre foot of water, Sacramento Valley water holders are being offered about 40 percent more for their water this summer than last summer.
Fire officials says warm weather and the lack of rain have firefighters already keeping an eye out for wildfires across the state.
It's not just that the water gets double use, it's also all about the timing of that use. That's what Bakersfield officials say about an agreement with Southern California Edison, and how it will help deal with the current drought.
A coalition of businesses including The Coca-Cola Company and Gap Inc. announced Thursday it is backing Gov. Jerry Brown's call for conservation in drought-stricken California.
California received a double dose of bad drought news on Tuesday, with state officials saying the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is far below normal and that residents again aren't coming close to meeting Gov. Jerry Brown's call for a 20 percent cut in water use.