The U.S. Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture recently announced that they will provide $5.3 million in federal funding to five water districts in California.
The recent announcement comes on the heels of a series of tense battles over California water rights and environmental conservation. Recent studies by the University of California at Davis suggest that agricultural production in the Central Valley has significantly contaminated local water resources. In addition to reports of environmental degradation, Central Valley water officials are planning on pushing forward policy that would better regulate pollution and conserve water resources.
The federal government is stepping in to help fund these programs in order to guarantee their long-term sustainability in the midst of budget concerns. According to officials at the Department of the Interior, “Coordinated federal actions and investments, such as this cooperative effort between Interior and USDA, are an important step toward improving water conservation and water supply sustainability in California, now and in the future.”
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan reiterated these sentiments, stating, “By working in partnership, USDA and Interior better ensure that water management efforts enhance water supplies and sustain our natural resources.”
The funds will go towards improvements in water management systems and improvement in local water infrastructure (such as canals and reservoirs) that will help limit contamination and waste.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer