- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker says a new federal center opening at the University of Alabama will help during future water crises like the California drought and flooding in Texas.

Pritzker’s comments came Tuesday during the unveiling of the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa.

Pritzker says the center will combine street-level water information with infrastructure maps and data to improve the prediction of water-related events like floods.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby helped secure funding for the nearly $24 million, 65,000-square-foot building.

About 200 people will work at the center. That includes employees of NOAA, other government agencies, contractors and visiting scientists.

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