$1Billion Emergency Drought Relief for California

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(Newswire.net — March 21, 2015)  — While experts and officials argue on how much fresh water is left in the Golden State, authorities granted $1billion to ensure water supplies in what could be the worst drought in 500 years.

“This is a struggle, something we’re going to have to live with. For how long we’re not sure,” said California state Governor Jerry Brown during a press conference.

Brown explained that $660 million of $1billion is budgeted for flood prevention, which Brown explained is linked, as they are both related to climate change.

Though a substantial amount of the money has been set aside to amortize the fresh water supply problem, some restrictive legislation has been passed, limiting garden and lawn watering to two days a week, and restaurants will offer tap water only upon request.

“We have been in multiyear droughts and extended dry periods a number of times in the past, and we will be in the future,” said Ted Thomas, a spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources, as cited by the LA Times.

Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, agrees with the legislators saying that new water restriction laws are not something that will be difficult to comply to.

“Because of the severity of the situation, I do think the public is ready for it,” he said, as quoted by Time magazine.

Much more, however, needs to be done, Charles Stringer, chair of the Regional Water Board in Southern California, told Time magazine, doubting that “what the water experts and policy makers are saying with increasing urgency, would be possible.”

Then, there is the question of how the current regulations would be enforced, without the manpower to do it.

Various representatives and experts on the subject are confusing Californians with their estimations from ‘extremely serious’ to ‘nothing to worry about’. Ted Thomas, told the LA Times that droughts are nothing new. “In periods like this there will be shortages, of course, but the state as a whole is not going to run dry in a year or two years,” Thomas said.

NASA’s water scientist Famiglietti however, stated that the state reservoirs have only about a year’s water supply left and that groundwater reserves are already depleted.