According to a new report that was released on Tuesday, August 18, the ongoing drought in California will have a very negative impact on the economy of the state, as it was estimated about $ 2.74 billion will be lost this year. Moreover, about 10,000 people will lose their jobs in farming, even if the agriculture is generally going well.
The most affected rural communities that will be out of jobs in 2015 will be the ones in the Tulare Basin.
“If a drought of this intensity persists beyond 2015, California’s agricultural production and employment will continue to erode,” said one of the study’s authors Josue Medellin-Azuara, who is a water economist working for the University of California’s Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.
Moreover, it is estimated that due to the scarcity of water and the lack of humidity in the air and soil, farmers won’t be able to use about half a million acres – representing 220,000 hectares of land this year. This is almost 25 percent more land than the one that was fallowed in 2014.
This is the fourth year the drought continues in California and it was estimated it is going to cost the industry alone about $ 1.84 billion.
Californians have already been asked to reduce the amount of water they use by as much as 25 percent. It was also reported that about three quarters of the utilities polled showed that the rate modifications for the people who will need to cut down on the quantity of water they will be allowed to use have already begun for the next year.
Nevertheless, the economists say that the agriculture in California is still flourishing, in spite of the dry conditions and the lack of water for irrigation:
“We’re getting by remarkably well this year – much better than many had predicted – but it’s not a free lunch,” said lead study author Richard Howitt, who is a professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California’s Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.
This is exceptionally good news, given the fact that Californian farmers have to make do with a total of about $ 46 billion they receiveannually, which is an extremely small sum of money, compared to the state’s $ 1.9 trillion a year economy.
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