SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $9.7 million in new drought aid for rural Californians.

The Agriculture Department said Friday the money will help 73,000 Californians in 11 counties. Much of the aid will assist Californians whose wells and other water sources are going dry.

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For example, the southern California town of Farmersville, in Tulare County, is getting $500,000 to connect neighborhoods with dry wells to a water main.

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The Obama administration says it has given more than $50 million total to help Californians deal with the three-year drought. The National Weather Service said this week that more than 80 percent of California is experiencing extreme drought or the highest category, exceptional drought.

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