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California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation approving the use of more than $1 billion toward a host of issues related to the state’s ongoing drought — which a NASA scientist recently identified as the reason that California’s water reserves have just a year’s supply remaining.
Earlier this month, California restaurants and bars were prohibited from serving water unless it was first requested by a customer.
The legislation was addressed in two bills that cover emergency relief protocol, as well as “long-term projects involving flood control, desalination and water recycling,” reports the Los Angeles Times. Of the approved budget, only $27.4 million has been approved in new funds, and the remainder is the sum of previously approved budget measures.
“This funding is just one piece of a much larger effort to help those most impacted by the drought and prepare the state for an uncertain future,” Brown said in a statement. “But make no mistake, from Modoc to Imperial County, rain is not in the forecast and every Californian must be doing their utmost to conserve water.”
Meanwhile, water conservationists continue to urge Governor Brown to implement more severe steps, including mandatory rationing.