President Barack Obama has promised about $170 million in aid to help California, saying that the drought in California is a nationwide concern. 

The comments made in Los Banos, Calif., were similar in sentiment to the things he said at the town hall style meeting in California. He says that this isn't just a problem for California to deal with, it is a national problem. 

"California is our biggest economy. California is our biggest agricultural producer. So what happens here, matters to every working American, right down to the cost of food that you put on your table," Obama said. 

Obama announced new funding made available to help with the drought conditions, including: 

  • $100 million in livestock disaster assistance for California ranchers
  • $60 million has been made available to food banks to help families economically impacted by the drought. 
  • $5 million for the most extreme and exceptional drought areas in California. 
  • $5 million for targeted Emergency Watershed Protection for to the most drought impacted areas of California to protect vulnerable soils.
  • $3 million in Emergency Water Assistance Grants for rural communities experiencing water shortages.

President Obama also pointed out that more droughts are in store for California in the future, and the trends are going to get worse until we make a real effort to combat carbon pollution. 

"One thing that is undeniable, is that changing temperatures influence drought in at least three ways:

No. 1. More rain falls in extreme downfalls, so more water is lost to runoff than captured for use. 

No. 2. More precipitationin the mountains falls as rain rather than snow, so rivers run dry earlier in the year. 

No. 3. Soil and reservoirs lose more water to evaporation throughout the year," he said. 

If the U.S. needs to combat carbon pollution, or this trend is going to get worse, he said. 

The President says that we have to stop waiting for these disasters, and start looking for a way to prevent and prepare for them before they happen. 

Obama again said that we need to change the way that we approach water use, from farmers, to industry, to residential. 

4:40 p.m.

Hear Obama's remarks on the drought situation in California and what the government plans to do to help. 

3:45 p.m.

President Obama spoke in a town hall-style meeting to representative of ag, labor, water, and hunger organizations. 

President Obama remarked that he "came here mostly to listen," to the people being affected most by the drought. 

The president joked about making it back home in time for Valentine's Day, but then the tone of the meeting grew much more serious. 

He is concerned that climate chance is very serious and that Americans should expect longer, harder droughts in the future. 

"Water has been seen as a zero sum game: agriculture against urban, north against south," he said. We're going to have to figure out how to play a different game."

President Obama said that because California produces so much of the food for the nation, there is a huge concern across the county about the state's drought. 

He also addressed climate change and global warming, saying that a plan needs to be created now on how the dwindling resources should be used. 

"We can't afford years of litigation and no action," he said. 

Obama said he believes that the drought is really part of the broader issue of climate change, comparing the drought in California with hurricanes along the Atlantic Ocean. 

3:30 p.m.

PHOTOS: President Obama Lands in California

2:30 p.m.

At about 2:42 p.m. Air Force one touched down in Fresno. Soon after, the President exited the aircraft and headed to the Marine helicopter that was standing by. Marine One then took the president to Firebaugh, a community just north of Fresno that has been hit particularly hard by the drought conditions. 

Here is video of the press awaiting the President's arrival.

11 a.m.

During his visit today, the President will announce significant new efforts the Administration is taking to support and offer relief to those feeling the pain of the drought the most -- Californians. 

Here's what the President and his administration have in store:

  • $100 million in livestock disaster assistance for California ranchers
  • $60 million has been made available to food banks to help families economically impacted by the drought. 
  • $5 million for the most extreme and exceptional drought areas in California. 
  • $5 million for targeted Emergency Watershed Protection for to the most drought impacted areas of California to protect vulnerable soils.
  • $3 million in Emergency Water Assistance Grants for rural communities experiencing water shortages.

In line with the emergency drought declaration by Gov. Jerry Brown in January, Obama has directed all federal agencies in California to cut back on water usage. This includes a delay on water use for all new and non-necessary landscaping projects on federal land, and also putting a doubled emphasis on long-term water reduction projects that were already in the works. 

Obama has also asked that the Department of the Interior work with water contractors and communities to adjust deadlines for key water projects and to give water contractors flexibility when it comes to meeting water obligations, as long as they remain within key environmental safeguards.

NOAA, the EPA and the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are working to water problems worsened or caused by the state's record-breaking drought. 

The President is also putting an emphasis on strengthening climate resilience efforts. To do this, he is including a $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund in his 2015 budget plan, which will be released next month. With the $1 billion, the Obama administration hopes to fund climate change research and help communities better prepare for climate change.

8:30 a.m. 

President Obama is expected to arrive in Fresno at about 2:30 p.m., along with Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. They will meet California Governor Jerry Brown when they get here.

From the airport, they will take a helicopter ride to a roundtable meeting of farmers and community leaders in Firebaugh.

After that, the plan is to take a tour of a Los Banos farm that was hit particularly hard by the weather and lack of water.

How bad are things in the Central Valley, a half-million acres of what is usually tomatoes and other vegetables, will be left unplanted this season. 

Hear Mike Simpson's full report:

 

7 a.m.

Obama's visit is expected to bring relief funding, in addition to what we've already seen in the past few weeks. It is estimated that an additional $170 could be coming our way. 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has been ordered to speed up disaster assistance grants to ranchers.

"Normally this process takes anywhere from six to eight months, the president is going to direct us to get it done within 60 days," Vilsack said. 

There will also be millions of dollars allotted to conservation efforts, watershed protection and food banks for workers affected by the drought. 

Hear Mike Simpson's full report: 

6:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama will travel to Fresno today to highlight federal efforts aimed at helping California through its severe drought.

The president is expected to take an aerial tour of the Central Valley before meeting with farmers that have been hit hard by the dry weather.

Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Fresno Congressman Jim Costa will be in tow.

The visit comes as Capitol Hill takes an interest in the water crisis. Republicans in the House passed a bill Wednesday to lift some environmental restrictions on water use, and Democrats in the Senate have authored a competing measure.

Governor Jerry Brown has met with administration officials on the subjects of drought and climate change and may also be in attendance for the President Obama's visit.

Check back with NewsRadio KFBK AM1530 and 93.1FM and kfbk.com throughout the day for updates on this story.