- The Washington Times - Friday, June 19, 2015

In the midst of California’s severe drought and state-imposed water restrictions, President Obama plans to spend the weekend golfing at exclusive, water-guzzling resorts in Palm Springs.

Mr. Obama arrived in California Thursday to raise money for Democrats, and plans to stay in the state throughSunday for some recreation.

While the White House is being tight-lipped about his schedule, Mr. Obama has been known to favor golf courses in the Palm Springs area, having visited the region four times in the past two years.

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said the president “may” play golf while there.

“In terms of any courses that the president may visit over the next few days, I know that many courses have taken water mitigation steps aimed at water conservation,” he told reporters.

Amid California’s four-year-long drought, the Palm Springs region has come under criticism as one of the state’s heaviest water users, consuming as much as 400 gallons per capita per day in the summer. Golf resorts are among the biggest water users, sucking up almost 37 billion gallons per year.

Gov. Jerry Brown has imposed water restrictions calling for cutbacks of 25 percent of consumption.

Mr. Schultz said the Obama administration “is committed to doing everything we can to help the farmers, ranchers, small businesses and communities facing the severe impacts of the historic drought.”

He said last week the administration announced more than $110 million in federal aid to support communities suffering from drought and to combat wildfires.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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