The county Board of Supervisors was asked unofficially to contribute $87,000 to saving immigrant lives.
The request came unofficially because it was not part of the board's action agenda on Tuesday.
The request was made by San Diego businessman John Hunter, who told the board that the county could save more than that amount in reduced health care costs associated with the rescue and medical treatment of those found in the desert.
Hunter said the money would go toward placing water at 400 sites in the desert where deaths are known to have occurred. He said 24 people died last year due to heat exposure. The deaths all occurred between April and September, with August being the highest month with nine deaths.
Hunter will also get $92,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to install lifelines across the All-American Canal.
Supervisor Wally Leimgruber said he wholeheartedly supports Hunter's efforts, and Supervisor Gary Wyatt suggested Hunter work with the De Anza Search and Rescue unit to reach some of the proposed sites.