The Bureau of Reclamation will soon request more drought funding from Congress, according to Senate testimony this week from Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo.

“I would expect in the next coming weeks you will be seeing the reprogramming request with a significant focus on drought mitigation and adaptation strategies,” Palumbo told California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Feinstein pointed out that more than 72% of the West is experiencing severe drought conditions or worse, making it the most extensive severe drought in recorded history. California is worse, with 95% of the state in severe drought, she said.

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The bureau is planning actions around water transfers, water purchases and groundwater substitutions. Reclamation has also been working with the state on constructing salinity barriers in the Delta.

On that note, Reclamation has continued to release increased flows out of the New Melones Reservoir to assist with Delta salinity and outflow requirements.