Interior secretary pledges drought aid for California |

Interior secretary pledges drought aid for California

Associated Press Writer

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. ” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is pledging $260 million in federal stimulus money to help California address its water shortages.

Salazar announced the funding Wednesday after completing an aerial tour of the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, which sends water to nearly two-thirds of Californians.

California’s statewide drought led Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to declare a state of emergency in February.

The stimulus money is part of the $1 billion announced by the Bureau of Reclamation for water projects intended to create jobs across the West.

California’s share will fund such projects as new groundwater wells and rock barriers to improve water quality in the delta.

An additional $135 million will be available for water reuse and recycling projects.