As California faces unprecedented water shortages, the state's legislators are introducing a new bill to mitigate the damage. Dubbed the California Emergency Drought Relief Act, the new bill would funnel federal funds to an array of anti-drought programs, funding research into new desalination projects, allocating $200 million for new water recycling projects, and authorizing grants for new water-metering and stormwater capture programs. The bill is substantially similar to one that stalled in Congress last year, but includes new environmental measures as well as new provisions allowing for one-to-one water transfers in cases of reduced water delivery.
The bill was jointly introduced by Senators Feinstein and Boxer, but given the acrimony over previous drought relief bills, it may face long odds in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. "I’ve introduced a lot of bills over the years, and this one may be the most difficult, and a warming climate will only make things worse," Feinstein (D-CA) said in a statement. "I’m hopeful the bill we’re introducing today will serve as a template for the kinds of short-term and long-term solutions California needs to address this devastating drought."