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Drought Aid on the Horizon?

Residents of western states hard-hit by ongoing drought are hoping for federal help.
(NBC News)  California is expecting some much needed rain and snow this weekend, but it won't be nearly enough to end the growing drought emergency.

Now Congress is hoping to help the west where Mother Nature hasn't.

One water bill has already passed the House and another is in the works.

Lawmakers know they need to do something to help, but so far the hard part appears to be getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on what.

House Republicans have already passed a water bill that would shift water from northern California down to thirsty Central Valley farms, but Democrats called it a water grab and President Obama says he'd veto it.

California Representative John Garamendi, a Democrat, says a bill set to be introduced next week will call for at least $100 million in assistance and focus on improving conservation, recycling, storage, and collection of surface water.

Scientist David Gurian-Sherman studies drought.

"Ultimately it comes down to using water much more wisely than we're doing now," he says.

But Representative David Valadao, a Republican, says he can't support anything that doesn't bring more water to his district in the Central Valley.

"We have zero percent. So, you can't conserve zero, zero is zero," he says. 

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