California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $5.1 billion package supporting the state’s water infrastructure and drought response as part of his historic California Comeback Plan on Monday.
The plan, which also includes direct payments to low and middle-income residents, will allocate more than $1 billion for providing small and disadvantaged communities with drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“Shoring up our water resilience, especially in small and disadvantaged communities, is imperative to safeguarding the future of our state in the face of devastating climate change impacts that are intensifying drought conditions and threatening our communities, the economy and the environment,” Newsom said in the press release.
The announcement follows an expanded drought emergency proclamation Monday, which includes Alameda County.
The package, which will take effect over the next four years, will also help Californians pay overdue water bills, according to the press release. The California Comeback Plan will also finance groundwater cleanup programs and projects improving water supply security, quality and transportation.
In addition, nearly another $1 billion will be allocated toward providing drought relief to all 58 counties and increasing drought preparedness in the future, the press release noted.
The package also includes funding for habitat restoration, water resilience projects and protections for local ecosystems, according to the press release.
“This package of bold investments will equip the state with the tools we need to tackle the drought emergency head-on while addressing long-standing water challenges and helping to secure vital and limited water supplies to sustain our state into the future,” Newsom said in the press release.