2014-08-12T235118Z_1_LYNXMPEA7B0XK_RTROPTP_2_CALIFORNIA-DROUGHT

Amid drought, California Democrats seek Republican votes on water plan

A buoy meant for boaters rests on the dry bed of Lake Mendocino, a key Mendocino County reservoir, in UkiahBy Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) – California Democrats scrambled on Tuesday to win Republican support for a plan to improve water supplies that has been mired in regional and party politics for a year, even as the state suffers from a three-year drought that shows no sign of ending. A day after voting for a two-day extension to put a proposal on November’s ballot to pay for reservoirs and other projects by selling bonds, Democratic lawmakers enlisted the support and negotiating clout of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, a fiscal moderate who said previous plans were too expensive. “We’re very close,” said Brown after meeting with Republican leaders who want more reservoirs and Democratic holdouts who say damming rivers and flooding canyons to build them is damaging to the environment. “There’s been a lot of compromise.” California is in the throes of a devastating drought that is expected to cost its economy $2.2 billion in lost crops, jobs and other damage.

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