Sprinklers water a lawn Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. In an effort to force the public to conserve water, the State Water Resources Control Board voted 4-0 to approve a proposal that includes fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday will discuss federal efforts to help California cope with a severe drought when he makes a stop in the Fresno area.
Obama leaves on Friday for talks in Rancho Mirage, California, with Jordan's King Abdullah.
On his way there, Obama will stop in the Fresno area, where a White House official said on Monday he will "discuss ongoing efforts to respond to the severe drought."
Coming off its driest year on record, California is gripped in a drought that threatens to inflict the worst water crisis in state history, prompting Governor Jerry Brown last month to declare a state of emergency.
Large-scale crop losses in California, which is the No. 1 U.S. farm state, producing half the nation's fruits and vegetables, would undoubtedly lead to higher consumer prices.
Last week the Agriculture Department announced $20 million in assistance directed to the most heavily stricken areas to help farmers and ranchers better utilize scare water resources.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)