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Cali Drought and Why We Should Care

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Printed Date: Dec 11 2018 at 10:02pm

Topic: Cali Drought and Why We Should Care
Posted By: tatee
Subject: Cali Drought and Why We Should Care
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 12:10pm" rel="nofollow - How California’s Worsening Drought Could Make Your Grocery Bill Spike

By" rel="nofollow - Emily Atkin" rel="nofollow"> on February 10, 2014 at 12:40 pm" rel="nofollow -

"How California’s Worsening Drought Could Make Your Grocery Bill Spike"" rel="nofollow - - -
Gilroy, Calif., south of Gilroy, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008.

Gilroy, Calif., south of Gilroy, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

If" rel="nofollow - what the tree rings say is true, California hasn’t been this dry in more than 500 years. If what the leading climate scientists say is true, that dryness" rel="nofollow - will only get worse in the coming years. And if what economics predict is true, grocery bills nationwide may be some of the first things to suffer.

When conditions are ripe, California’s $44.7 billion agricultural industry is “" rel="nofollow - the supermarket of the world ,” producing nearly half of all the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in America. The most abundant source of produce comes from Central Valley — deemed “" rel="nofollow - The Land of A Billion Vegetables ” by the New York Times — which produces 8 percent of America’s agricultural output by value.

But now, Central Valley is the" rel="nofollow - biggest victim of the state’s three-year drought. And there are no sign that things will get" rel="nofollow - any better in the" rel="nofollow - coming years .

“[It’s becoming] increasingly clear the region won’t see relief from the devastating drought anytime soon,” Kevin Kerr, editor of, told" rel="nofollow - MarketWatch . “Retail prices for many key agricultural commodities could jump.”

Specifically, MarketWatch’s report says, consumers may see higher prices for beef and milk. Less water means less grass for cows to graze, forcing ranchers either to slim down herds or sell cattle.

And it’s not just the animals. With water scarce, farmers are unable to plant as many seeds, so prices of artichokes, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower could rise at least 10 percent" rel="nofollow - according to Milt McGiffen , a vegetable specialist at the University of California at Riverside. California is the top producing state for lemons, limes, peaches, strawberries, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios — these and other crops could face production problems.

Plants that grow on vines and trees are in an especially tough position, as Mother Jones" rel="nofollow - notes . Those plants have to be maintained year-round. And while it takes more than one drought season to kill a tree, California’s drought has been long-running. It takes time for supplies to replenish, too — meaning spiked prices could last more than just one season, even if the drought were to end.

“However bad this year, it will be worse next,” Ken Shackel, a tree-crop expert at the University of California-Davis, told" rel="nofollow - Mother Jones . “Really bad this year means really, really bad next year.”

This year, California farmers will likely leave 500,000 acres unplanted — about 12 percent of last year’s acreage," rel="nofollow - according to the Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition. Because yields will be so bad, a" rel="nofollow - report in Ag Professional notes, some farmers may even make more money selling their water than they can make growing crops.

“We are at that point the risks for the future are really significant,” Peter Gleick, president of the nonpartisan research organization Pacific Institute, told" rel="nofollow - Bloomberg News . “We have to fundamentally change the way we manage water.”

In declaring a drought state of Emergency on Jan. 17, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Jr. called on residents to voluntarily cut water consumption by 20 percent. So far, though, only" rel="nofollow - a handful of cities have enacted mandatory water restrictions. And as the consumption cut was announced so recently, it is too soon to tell whether people are actually following them. As it is now, California needs" rel="nofollow - 15 to 36 inches of rain to end the drought.

Until then, California and those who eat its crops may have to brace for the worst, as the state’s recent dry spells grow longer and stronger — a fact many leading scientists link" rel="nofollow - to climate change . As Climatologist James Hansen told ClimateProgress’ own Joe Romm, “Increasingly intense droughts in California, all of the Southwest, and even into the Midwest have everything to do with human-made climate change.” The warming by itself helps dry out the soil and reduce the snowpack, robbing the region of a reservoir needed for the summer dry season. 


Posted By: blaquefoxx
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 12:15pm
This been going on for awhile now. But people don't like to care nor prep until the last minuteDisapprove

Posted By: blaquefoxx
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 12:24pm
Oh and the $8 Billion in food stamp cuts was signed into law last week too.

Posted By: iliveforbhm
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 12:32pm
Dang, well at least I get paid higher now. And hopefully I move to Ghana and start my own vegetable garden.

Posted By: Tbaby
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 1:00pm
I didn't read the article but have read/heard about this for the past 5 years. 

Cali and much of the southwest including my beloved TXHeart has been in drought situations for years is what it is and we deal with it.

Posted By: Lonisha87
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 2:18pm
Its been like this here for years now, sucks they finally want to take notice a little late.

Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 2:22pm
yea were having a water crisis. 
i try not to take my super long showers anymore.. 

Posted By: tatee
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 2:25pm
Originally posted by coconess coconess wrote:

yea were having a water crisis. 
i try not to take my super long showers anymore.. 

i reading these posts and im like so we shouldnt care?Confused

Posted By: melikey
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 2:49pm
noooo, not the fruit.. 

Posted By: Naturalchick30
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 3:02pm
Originally posted by blaquefoxx blaquefoxx wrote:

<font size="3" face="Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif">Oh and the $8 Billion in food stamp cuts was signed into law last week too.


Posted By: coconess
Date Posted: Feb 11 2014 at 3:07pm
the only way to fix/help this is like 20 inches of rain..? 

it rained a few times last week.. 
i guess ill hope for rain.. 

if i really want it to happen, it'll happen. idk about 20 inches but ill see what i can do.. 

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