As California faces extreme drought and strict regulations on water usage, the Obama administration took steps to further protect bodies of water throughout the country from contamination and pollution.

Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Rule expands protections already offered under the Clean Water Act. According to a recent article published by U.S. News & World Report, the water consumed by more than 117 million people in the U.S. may not have been adequately protected from pollution by the Clean Water Act. The latest regulations clarify which lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands are protected.

Although fertilizer companies and others in the agriculture business have raised opposition to the Clean Water Rule, the EPA says the rule is a positive response to climate change and other factors affecting the quality and availability of drinking water in the U.S. Because the rule more clearly defines which waterways are protected, it will make it easier to hold businesses that pollute accountable.

California Senator Barbara Boxer stated her approval of the new measure, saying that it will help ensure people throughout the country have access to clean drinking water. The Clean Water Rule, she said, will help protect the approximately one-third of people in the country who drink water that comes from wetlands and streams.

As of now, we will have to wait to see what kind of effect the new regulations will have on California. As we try to cope with a water crisis, hopefully we will see a positive impact.