Environment & Science

California lawmakers travel to Australia for drought lessons

File State Sen. Kevin de Leon speaks at Global Green USA's Annual Millennium Awards at Fairmont Miramar Hotel on June 8, 2013 in Santa Monica.
File State Sen. Kevin de Leon speaks at Global Green USA's Annual Millennium Awards at Fairmont Miramar Hotel on June 8, 2013 in Santa Monica.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Global Green

California lawmakers are joining environmental, labor and business leaders on a trip to see how Australia managed its longest and most severe drought on record.

The 9-day visit that began Monday comes as California finishes its fourth year of drought. Australia endured a 12-year drought from 1997 to 2009.

Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León of Los Angeles says California can learn how to adapt to what could be more frequent extreme weather due to climate change.

Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen, a Republican from Modesto, is among the 11 lawmakers from both political parties on the trip.

Also attending is California Water Commission member Daniel Curtin.

The trip is organized and paid for by the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think-tank.