Hurtado Announces Urgent Action Needed as State Faces Worsening Drought Conditions

June 8, 2021

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2021

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SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) released the following statement regarding the worsening drought conditions in California and across the Western United States:


“The clock is ticking and the water crisis is about to explode,” said Senator Hurtado. “Drastic and immediate action is required to avoid a humanitarian crisis in California. Water is life and the situation is serious. We cannot point the finger at one another, we must come together to find solutions to solve the water crisis and possible food crisis.”


Last week, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced that water reservoirs across California were at 66 percent of average, and that snowpack was 0 percent of average for this time in June.  A report using United States Drought Monitor data shows that more than 25 percent of California is in the worst drought category—and three quarters of the state are in the second-worst drought categories. This leaves an estimated 37,253,956 people living in a drought area in California. Comparisons in a DWR accumulated runoff report at shows that the full natural flow of select California rivers is worse in most areas than it was in the 2014 and 2015 droughts. The reports show that California is in the most severe drought in four years.

This legislative session, Senator Hurtado has introduced Senate Bill 559--the State Water Resiliency Act of 2021. Senate Bill 559 will allocate $785 million to repairing vital water delivery systems that provide drinking water to communities throughout California and water to sustain the state’s leading agricultural economy. The funds would go to fixing the Friant-Kern Canal, the Delta-Mendota Canal and major portions of the California Aqueduct, all of which have degraded and are losing water as a result of subsidence – the actual shrinking of land.


The Senator is also a co-author of the Water Innovation Act of 2021, which will create the Office of Water Innovation at the California Water Commission-furthering new technologies and other approaches within the water sector. The Senator has also introduced Senate Bill 464, which will expand the eligibility for state funded food benefits to undocumented immigrants, ensuring all residents can access food assistance. Senator Hurtado’s SB 108, which will declare it to be state policy that all people have access to sufficient, healthy food.


About Senator Melissa Hurtado


Senator Melissa Hurtado represents a new generation of Latina leaders as the youngest woman ever elected to the California State Senate and a product of immigrant parents. Senator Hurtado represents the 14th Senate District and focuses on rural community issues that often go unheard — access to clean air and water, food insecurity and poverty, inequities in environmental policies, agriculture and access to health care. In July 2020, she was appointed to the national Biden Latino Leadership Committee alongside former Labor Secretary and current Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis – the only two California Latinas on the Committee.


For more information, visit Senator Hurtado’s Website here or find her on Twitter at @Senator_Hurtado