Scientists forecast economic impacts of the drought on Central Valley agriculture

May 19, 2014
The drought has hit the Central Valley hard, as witnessed by these dry fields at Panoche Road, looking west, near San Joaquin, Calif. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo)

California’s drought will deal a severe blow to Central Valley irrigated agriculture and farm communities this year, and could cost the industry $1.7 billion and cause more than 14,500 workers to lose their jobs, according to preliminary results of a new study by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

Researchers estimated that Central Valley irrigators would receive only two-thirds of their normal river water deliveries this year because of the drought.

The preliminary analysis represents the first socio-economic forecast of this year’s drought, said lead author Richard Howitt, a UC Davis professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics.

“We wanted to provide a foundation for state agricultural and water policymakers to understand the impacts of the drought on farmers and farm communities,” Howitt said.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

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