California is in the thick of one of their worst droughts in recent history, now entering its fourth year. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 92 percent of California is considered in severe drought, with more than 44 percent of the state experiencing the highest designation of exceptional drought.
Last year, more than 400,000 acres of farmland were plowed but left unseeded and approximately 17,000 jobs were lost at a cost of more than $1.5 billion to the state’s economy.
QSR Magazine summarized the major causes of the drought…
“California suffers from two big problems: First, water demands are immense in the nation’s most populous state; some 38 million people call California home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, applying astronomical pressure to the state’s water supply. Second, the last few years have been some of the driest on record, with very little rain and snowfall in the winter, the state’s wet season. Without the rain and water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ snowpack, the state’s reservoirs and groundwater are drying up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa) reports that natural oceanic and atmospheric patterns are driving the drought, from which many say it will take several years—and perhaps an El Nin~o–type wet weather event—to recover.”
California produces a considerable majority of America’s fruits, vegetables and nuts such as almonds, spinach, avocado, strawberries, grapes, tomatoes citrus, and garlic.