The Obama administration is "all in" when it comes to helping California deal with a historic drought, said U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday in announcing a new $50 million relief program.
Jewell made the announcement in Sacramento alongside Gov. Jerry Brown, and pledged additional help from the federal government as needed.
"I am well aware of the importance of California to the country's economy, " said Jewell. "What happens here in California matters to the rest of the nation."
- $19.9 million in drought monitoring, water pumping assistance and conservation work for the federal Central Valley Project
- $9 million for water conservation grants, given out through a new competitive program for new ideas and efforts
- $8.6 million for help in creating more storage for water that comes from the Colorado River
Brown, in remarks to reporters at the announcement event, said it was important not to dismiss the significance of even a relatively small amount -- $50 million -- of new assistance.
"Every $50 million counts," said Brown.
Obama's new budget for the federal fiscal year that begins in October includes more than $280 million in funding for additional California and drought-related programs, including help for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Both Jewell and Brown used the event to highlight the concern that drought conditions could persist under long-term changes to the region's climate.
"We've got our hands full," said the governor. "This is complex, difficult stuff."