California plans to spend $200 million of drought relief package

California plans to spend $200 million of drought relief package

California will spend almost a third of the $687 million emergency drought relief package that lawmakers approved earlier this year.

According to the draft plan released recently by the California Department of Water Resources, more than $200 million in expedited bond funding would be spent to benefit a total of 110 projects across the state, ranging from San Diego to the city of Mt. Shasta.

One of the water projects would replace eighteen-mile of an Amador Water Agency canal, which runs around 50 miles southeast of Sacramento, with a pipeline. Authorities say the pipeline would save water by preventing evaporation and seepage. Another project recommends digging of three new wells to serve severely drought-hit rural communities in Ukiah.

The state water agency is expected to take a final decision on the plans by end of October this year.

Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have also decided to place a bond measure on the November ballot to get approval for a proposed borrowing of $7.5 billion for long-term water supply and conservation projects.

California has been in the grip of severe dry conditions for third consecutive year. Governor Brown declared a drought emergency in January 2014, as vanishing snowpack and lower levels of rainfall forced farmers to leave thousands of acres of fields fallow. Water authorities responded by introducing mandatory water restrictions and imposing hefty fines on violators.

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