CA governor signs off on $687 million drought plan

by The Associated Press
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In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, a warning buoy sits on the dry, cracked bed of Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, Calif.  Despite recent spot rains The reservoir, located in Mendocino County is currently only about 37 percent full.  California remans in the midst of an historic drought causing Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, a warning buoy sits on the dry, cracked bed of Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, Calif. Despite recent spot rains The reservoir, located in Mendocino County is currently only about 37 percent full. California remans in the midst of an historic drought causing Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation to provide immediate relief to drought-stricken communities.

With his signing Saturday, more than $687 million will fund communities running low on drinking water and farming communities where fallowed fields are leading to sky-high unemployment.

The plan redirects money in the state budget and draws from two bonds previously approved by voters.

It includes $472 million in accelerated grant funding for water conservation and recycling projects. Another $15 million will fund housing and food for workers directly affected by the drought.

California lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the plan on Thursday.

Brown said in a statement that the legislation marks a crucial step, but Californians must continue to take every action possible to conserve water.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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