Budget Proposal Addresses Western Drought
SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – Today, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 budget to Congress, which includes funding for drought-stricken areas in the West, especially in California. California is in the fifth year of unprecedented drought, and increased federal funding for water conservation programs will help protect communities, wildlife habitat, agricultural production, and local economies across the state. The Water Foundation and other organizations released the following statements applauding the proposed budget.
Lester Snow, executive director, Water Foundation
“Many people are hoping that El Niño will solve California’s drought challenges, but one year of heavy rain will not fill our depleted reservoirs and groundwater basins. We absolutely need increased federal funding to create a 21st century water management system and ensure cities, farms and environment are resilient enough to withstand prolonged droughts. To that end, President Obama’s budget proposal is a step in the right direction.”
“The Water Foundation works to improve the long-term viability of water for California’s cities, farms and environment, and we believe that President Obama’s FY17 budget is a great step to help build the partnerships and fund the water conservation projects necessary to make that happen,” Snow added. “We are especially grateful to Deputy Interior Secretary Mike Connor and Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller for being responsive to the policy and funding priorities that will protect our environment and way of life.”
Brian Johnson, director for state of California, Trout Unlimited
“With this budget, the administration is admirably responsive to the needs of people, wildlife and habitat caught in the grips of extreme drought conditions. Increased federal funding for cooperative programs and partnerships that boosts water supply reliability and stream flows will help farmers, ranchers, and households and ensure the health of the state’s trout and salmon. The conservation measures included in the budget are a smart move by the President.”
Tim Johnson, president and CEO, California Rice Commission
“Federal funding is a critical tool for supporting conservation efforts that benefit rice production and provide valuable bird habitat in times of drought.
Brigid McCormack, executive director, Audubon California
“Today’s proposed budget will allow for greater collaboration as we continue fighting to protect the crucial habitats for birds and other wildlife throughout the state of California. Additional support means greater relief for waterfowl that have faced increasing difficulty in finding wetlands due to drought. We thank the Obama Administration for making air, land, water, and wildlife conservation a priority in the budget.”
Brian Stranko, director of Water Program, The Nature Conservancy
“We’re grateful the Obama Administration is prioritizing water conservation in the 2016 budget. These federal grants will boost our drought preparedness and increase resources to come up with homegrown, innovative solutions to the challenges facing our western water resources—and the iconic landscapes and wildlife that depend on them. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we take these steps to ensure a stronger, more drought-resilient future for California and the West.”
About the Water Foundation
The Water Foundation, an initiative of Resources Legacy Fund, is committed to achieving a sustainable water supply to meet the needs of California’s farms, cities, and environment today and into the future. The Water Foundation supports innovative projects and policies and brings together experts, stakeholders, and the public to achieve 21st century solutions. For more information, please visit CaliforniaWaterFoundation.org