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Gov. Jerry Brown touched on California's worsening water shortage Wednesday in brief remarks to representatives from the state's agriculture community.

"We're doing everything we can to respond to the drought," Brown said outside the state Capitol as the California Department of Food and Agriculture hosted its annual Ag Day. "We've got to emphasize water conservation, and water recycling and managing the water."

But the governor avoided a reporter's question about new proposals to boost water storage.

On Wednesday, Reps. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, trumpeted legislation to construct a massive reservoir in Northern California. In Fresno, the House Natural Resources Committee held a field hearing about the drought.

Several storage-related proposals are being weighed by state and federal lawmakers.

Brown on Wednesday did not address the prospects for a water bond on the ballot this November. Instead, he again framed the issue as part of a broader effort to reduce greenhouse gasses and combat global climate change.

"Whether it's in agriculture, or our homes, or businesses, or in how we travel, we've got a lot of big challenges," he said.

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the annual Ag Day at the state capitol, March 19, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Christopher Cadelago



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