President Barack Obama signed a bill Friday authorizing water projects across the country, including $170 million to address lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, and $558 million to provide relief to drought-stricken California.
Obama said the bill advances vital projects across the country to restore watersheds, improve flood control and rebuild water infrastructure — including pipes in Flint, where residents have struggled with lead-tainted water for more than two years.
The bill also approves a series of projects in California that Obama said "will help assure that California is more resilient in the face of growing water demands and drought-based uncertainty."
Congress approved the $10 billion measure last week, despite complaints from some Democrats that it was a giveaway to California farmers and businesses.
The extended drought has devastated California's abundant farmland and forced families to cut back on water consumption. In the past two years, 35,000 people have lost jobs, 1 million acres of farm land have gone fallow and 2,400 private water wells have gone dry, while more than 100 million trees on federal land have died.