Today, the drought forces farmers to receive far less surface water, forcing them to replace a portion of that source by pumping water for food production from the state’s underground aquifers beneath their farms. At the peak of the drought, about 80% of all groundwater pumping was by farms replacing surface water deliveries. This pumping helped the environment, fish, birds, and other wildlife weather the worst effects of the drought.2015 Water Crisis Overview
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CNN: CALIFORNIA’S HISTORIC DROUGHT IMPACTS REST OF NATION
In 2014, one expert predicted consumers would pay more for some groceries because of the California drought. He was often right, according to statistics gathered by Timothy Richards, agribusiness professor at Arizona State University. Prices rose last year for items on your kitchen table.
NBC: JOB AND REVENUE LOSS MOUNT FROM PARCHED CALIFORNIA FARMS
Vast tracts of farmland — mostly in the Central Valley — have been fallowed, which means idled to accumulate moisture. An estimated 564,000 acres will be idled this year, according to an economic update on the drought from researchers at the University of California at Davis. Unused land, of course, triggers lower agricultural output. Idled land means fewer food processing jobs and thinned ranks of truckers to haul goods. Spillover, statewide revenue losses are likely to reach $2.7 billion, with 18,600 lost full-time and part-time jobs, according to the report.
NY TIMES: AFTER YEARS OF DROUGHT, WILDFIRES RAGE IN CALIFORNIA
Between Jan. 1 and July 11, California fire officials have responded to more than 3,381 wildfires, 1,000 more than the average over the previous five years.
BLOOMBERG: CALIFORNIA DROUGHT IMPACT SEEN SPREADING FROM FIRES TO FOOD COST
The drought that’s gripping California may soon have the rest of the country seeking relief. The emergency, which follows the state’s driest year on record, is likely to boost the prices of everything from broccoli to cauliflower nationwide. Farmers and truckers stand to lose billions in revenue, weakening an already fragile recovery in the nation’s most-populous state. And California and other Western states are seeing a surge in wildfires.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: #8 – CALIFORNIA NEAR TOP OF WORLD’S LARGEST ECONOMIES