Federal agencies give California $150 million in drought aid

Jun 24, 2015 5:56 PM by News Staff, Photo: CDWR

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Federal agencies are offering $150 million to shore up existing California drought relief programs.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the aid Wednesday to help the nation's top agriculture producing state dealing with a fourth dry year.

Most of the money, or $130 million, will support efforts to maintain and conserve water around the Sierra Nevada. The snow on the mountains usually provides a third of California's water, but it's virtually gone this year.

Watershed restoration includes expanding meadows and cutting down trees to clear the path for snow to melt into streams and rivers and eventually farmland and reservoirs.

Nearly $14 million is available to help ranchers get water for their cattle. Another $6 million is set aside for drinking water for rural communities.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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