A day after the U.S. Drought Monitor reported that more than 80 percent of California is now experiencing extreme drought, the federal government is giving the state $9.7 million. The money will help California communities hit hardest by the severe dry spell, including Cloverdale in Sonoma County.
Much of the aid will help Californians whose wells have dried up connect to the municipal water supply. Some 73,000 Californians in 11 counties are expected to be impacted by the relief funding.
U.S. Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack is visiting the state today and says he’s witnessed the emotional toll the drought is taking on some Californians.
“If you don’t have an opportunity to talk with folks who are experiencing this on a day to day basis in a real way, you can sometimes lose sight,” he said.
He added that his department won’t have any more funds to hand out unless Congress passes the drought assistance bills championed by California’s legislators. The Obama administration says it has given more than $50 million to help Californians deal with the three-year drought.
“The best thing to happen would be for Congress to take action on the drought assistance bill,” Vilsack said. “(S)o that California and other states can better prepare for what are going to be very difficult circumstances with changing weather patterns.”
Here’s the project list from the USDA:
|Recipient||Project Description||ECWAG Amount||County|
|Jackson Valley Irrigation District||Floating pump station, pipeline||$500,000||Amador|
|River Pines Public Utility District||Well replacement||$392,000||Amador|
|New Auberry Water Assoc.||Well and water hauling||$400,000||Fresno|
|City of Huron||Water allocation purchase||$500,000||Fresno|
|City of Orange Cove||Water allocation purchase||$390,000||Fresno|
|Frazier Park Public Utility District||Well replacement||$500,000||Kern|
|Lake of the Woods Mutual Water Company||Tank, pumps, well||$500,000||Kern|
|Madera County||Well replacement for Parkwood||$500,000||Madera|
|Mariposa Public Utility District||Purchase existing well, replace pump||$181,470||Mariposa|
|Placer County Water Agency||Connect Ophir Gardens||$500,000||Placer|
|Mountain Gate Community Services District||Well and Pipe Extension||$289,000||Shasta|
|City of Montague||Buying bottled water||$200,000||Siskiyou|
|City of Cloverdale||Deaeration treatment||$285,000||Sonoma|
|Alpaugh Community Services District||Well extension and pump||$250,000||Tulare|
|Earlimart Public Utility District||Well replacement||$500,000||Tulare|
|Pixley Public Utility District||Well replacement||$500,000||Tulare|
|Terra Bella Irrigation District||Water allocation purchase||$287,100||Tulare|
|Teviston Community Services District||Well repair and New well||$500,000||Tulare|
|Tipton Community Services District||Well replacement||$500,000||Tulare|
|City of Farmersville||Connect Cameron Creek Colony||$500,000||Tulare|
|London Community Services District||Well replacement||$500,000||Tulare|
|Lindsay-Strathmore Irrigation District||Water allocation purchase||$65,500||Tulare|
|Poplar Community Services District||Well extension and pump||$462,000||Tulare|
|Strathmore Public Utility District||Water allocation purchase||$28,500||Tulare|
|Groveland Community Services District||Water treatment plant||$500,000||Tuolumne|
The Associated Press and Katrina Schwartz contributed to this report.