Interior unveils $81M California drought cooperation plan

By Jennifer Yachnin | 05/22/2024 01:47 PM EDT

The Bureau of Reclamation brokered the agreement among the major Central Valley water agencies.

Canals carry water to Southern California

Canals carry water to Southern California in the Westlands Water District in California's Central Valley in 2009. Russel A. Daniels/AP

The Interior Department unveiled a new agreement Tuesday among California’s major Central Valley water agencies to respond to drought in the region, bolstered by $81 million in federal funds.

The Bureau of Reclamation brokered the agreement with contractors that rely on the Central Valley Project south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. That federal project delivers water from the state’s wet north to its drier south, providing irrigation to major agricultural regions.

“When we invest in the San Joaquin Valley, we invest in people and wildlife and economies and in our shared future,” Laura Daniel-Davis, Interior’s acting deputy secretary, said during a ceremony at the department’s headquarters celebrating the deal, which was finalized in March.


“As we continue to navigate this drought crisis in the West, we’re committed to using every resource that’s available to us to ensure that irrigators, tribes [and] communities receive adequate assistance and support our shared priorities,” Daniel-Davis said.