President Obama Will Send $100 Million in Drought Assistance to California (Yep, That's A Lot)

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced he would send over $173 million in federal assistance to California, which has recently faced the worst droughts it has experienced in over 100 years. Approximately $100 million of the assistance will go to farmers who lost their livestock in the droughts. Considering that Governor Jerry Brown even declared a state of emergency, it is evident that the droughts may have a severe long-term impact on the state's economic health.

Besides the $100 million in "livestock disaster" assistance, which are also part of the recent farm bill that Congress passed, here is the breakdown of the money:

  • $60 million will go to California food banks (through the Emergency Food Assistance Program), as many Californian families will feel the brunt of the drought on their economic stability. California will also build 600 "summer meal sites" in areas impacted by the drought.
  • $15 million will go to conservation assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Only $5 million of it, however, will go to the areas in California that suffered the most damage, while the other $10 million will go to regions in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas that were severely affected by the drought.
  • $5 million will go to the Emergency Watershed Protection Program, which will specifically help with repairing watersheds, making sure steam banks are working properly, and replanting crops on land whose vegetation was hit by the drought.
  • $3 million will go to Emergency Water Assistance Grants, which will fund rural areas with water shortages.

Yep, droughts can be scarily expensive.

Beyond providing federal assistance, the Obama administration is also recommending the state make changes to avoid problems caused by future droughts. Specifically, California federal facilities are being asked to cut down their water use, especially for non-essential projects.

As recently as just three days ago, 91.6 percent of California was experiencing "severe to exceptional drought,"according to Christian Science Monitor.

California isn't the only state coping with water-related problems. Following a chemical spill in West Virginia, the state suffered a shortage of clean water. So, Northeast, you might have a lot of snow, but things could be a $100 million worse.

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