Drought: State Financial Aid Available
In March, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a $687 million plan to assist drought-stricken communities throughout California. The new law includes money for housing and food for workers directly affected by the drought, bond funds for local communities to more efficiently capture and manage water, and funding for securing emergency drinking water supplies for drought-impacted communities.
The law also calls for the California Department of Public Health (DPH) to adopt new groundwater replenishment regulations by July 1, 2014, and for the State Water Resources Control Board and DPH to work on additional measures to allow for the use of recycled water and storm-water capture for increasing water supply availability.
The bill also makes statutory changes to ensure existing water rights laws are followed, including streamlined authority to enforce water rights laws and increased penalties for illegally diverting water during drought conditions.