California lawmakers travel to Australia for drought lessons

California lawmakers travel to Australia for drought lessons

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers are joining environmental, labor and business leaders on a trip to see how Australia managed its longest and most severe drought on record.

The 9-day visit that began Monday comes as California finishes its fourth year of drought. Australia endured a 12-year drought from 1997 to 2009.

Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León of Los Angeles says California can learn how to adapt to what could be more frequent extreme weather due to climate change.

Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen, a Republican from Modesto, is among the 11 lawmakers from both political parties on the trip.

Also attending is California Water Commission member Daniel Curtin.

The trip is organized and paid for by the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think-tank.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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