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State Funding for Drought Emergency Boosted More Than $22-Million

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Sonora, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration is spending an additional $22.5 million to respond to the immediate drought emergency, which includes educating Californians about water conservation.

The funding comes as California recorded its driest January and February in more than 100 years of records in the Sierra Nevada, as detailed here by the latest Department of Water Resources (DWR) manual snowpack reading. It is currently analyzing the latest snowpack data and has indicated it may revise its current forecast for State Water Project deliveries in 2022. The additional allocation includes more funding for that agency along with the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

DWR Snow Water Equivalents map/graphic
DWR Snow Water Equivalents map/graphic

Over a third of the money – $8.25 million – will be used to increase outreach efforts to educate and encourage Californians on water conservation measures and practices, including decreasing outdoor watering, using video ads out this month. Last fall the governor asked the public to reduce water usage by 15-percent. That plea only garnered about a 6-percent decrease overall, as reported here.

The money is also being tapped for the Save Our Water campaign, which is gearing up to reach Californians with water-saving tips via social media and other digital advertising, geo-targeting counties with high water use. The campaign is also enlisting the help of retailers and other organizations to urge Californians to reduce water use now and in the future, including permanent changes to landscaping to build resilience in the long term.

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