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Federal Agencies To Help California Cope With Drought

Above: In this 2008 photo, the water level in Lake Oroville, a major California reservoir, is shown with lower-than-normal water levels.

— Six federal agencies will help California draft a plan to cope with the severe drought. That includes improving the water delivery system from Northern California’s delta to the Central Valley.

The announcement was made during a meeting state officials had with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in Washington today.

Democratic State Assemblymember Mariko Yamada of Davis attended the meeting. Yamada said she told White House Officials that California’s water woes need immediate attention...

“Because of the crisis in the central valley with the unemployment amongst our farm workers we’re going to have to come up with some very short-term solutions," said Yamada. "We need drought relief and other supports for those who are most affected right now in the central valley.”

Yamada said the agencies involved include the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA and Department of Agriculture. One of the big things they’re working on is to research how pumping water from the delta impacts the environment and a threatened species of smelt. Meantime, the White House is pressing Governor Schwarzenegger to call lawmakers into a special session to tackle water policy.

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