California’s Farmers Adapt to Drought (in English and Spanish)
California’s drought has caused significant damage to the most important agricultural region in the United States. Half a million acres had to be fallowed, causing the loss of thousands of jobs in rural communities. The proportion of farmland planted to permanent crops has risen, making it harder to use fallowing as a drought strategy. Much of the shortage in surface water has been alleviated by pumping groundwater. But going forward, this practice will be increasingly challenged by the considerable drop in the water table in some areas, and management practices that will be required by the new statewide groundwater law adopted in late 2014.
We interviewed Josué Medellín-Azuara—a researcher at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center’s research network—about how the agricultural sector has been coping with drought, and practices and technologies that can help farmers weather future droughts. As Medellín-Azuara says, “There isn’t a simple solution to this problem—the strategy will be to implement a mix of the actions that are available to us.” This video is in Spanish only.
Video: La adaptación a la sequía del sector agrícola de California
News and analysis of California policy issues from PPIC