Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $15 billion package that funds programs to fight drought and climate change in the state following a devastating forest fire season.
The funding forms part of the state’s $262.6 billion budget, passed earlier this year.
Man-made climate change has exacerbated drought in the southwest United States, the heaviest on record, and rainfall is at the lowest since 1895, a US government report showed Tuesday.
The largest package of funding has been $5.2 billion for water and drought projects, adding to another painful drought threatening drinking water supplies nationwide.
This month, President Joe Biden renewed his called for substantial investment in fighting climate change when he visited California and toured areas that have been hit by one of the nation’s worst fire seasons.
Climate groups and the governor say the $15 billion is a historic “down payment” to the state for its fight against climate change, but some say the governor’s measures could go further.
Although in zoom mode, Alert Wildfire camera in Lamont shows what the world looks like this morning under the #Windy Fire smoke plume. Low sun angle gives the view a "Mars Like" feeling. #cawx pic.twitter.com/SFMwpqtak3
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) September 24, 2021
— Cal OES (@Cal_OES) September 23, 2021