06/12/2015 01:05 pm ET | Updated Jun 12, 2015

White House To Grant $110 Million To Drought-Stricken States

MARK RALSTON via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday that it would spend an additional $110 million to help farmers and communities in western states hit hard by drought and wildfires.

The drought has affected a third of the western United States, and President Barack Obama was slated to discuss it with western governors in a video conference on Friday.

The Agriculture Department will expand crop insurance, providing about $30 million in relief this year and $42 million next year, the White House said.

The Labor Department will provide up to $18 million in grants to California, a state where as many as 18,000 jobs have been lost to drought.

The White House said the money will be used to create up to 1,000 jobs for up to six months working on drought and wildfire projects.

The Interior Department will spend $10 million on projects designed to lessen the risk of major firefires, the White House said.

The new spending is on top of the more than $190 million spent by federal agencies this year on drought. The USDA also projects it will spend at least $1.2 billion in aid to livestock farmers.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by David Gregorio)


  • At Beal's Point on Folsom Lake in Northern California the water has almost disappeared. We are in the midst of a severe drought and for much of the Sacramento area this is it's water source. Edit: Since writing this 12 days ago, we've had major fires near Yosemite Park and the 4000 acre Sand Fire east of Sacramento.
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 13, 2014.
  • We may be going through a stretch of beautiful January weather right now in California, but our rivers, lakes and streams are quickly drying up... not good. #OurDroughtIsReal
  • California Drought: Ducks and Geese in East Jesus
  • This empty picnic table which looks out over Folsom Dam in Northern California is indicative of the dearth of visitors. This is just one small facet of California's drought.
  • As I stepped onto the forest floor to shoot this I could hear the pine needles crack and could feel the thick dry duf give way under my feet. California is so dry...so primed for fire that one worries about what August and September will bring.
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
  • Planted this tree fifteen years ago, nursed it to maturity, it died this spring .
  • Coyote Hills RP, Fremont, CA July 23, 2014
  • Very low water levels at Horseshoe Lake in Mammoth due to the ongoing drought in California, on July 9, 2014.
  • Tuolumne Meadows, Calif. on July 5, 2014.