The savage drought experienced in the western U.S. has long been foreseen, although until extremely recently it has been managed with a long-term strategy of wishing and hoping.
I remember the first three months of 1983. I was living in San Francisco. It rained every day. It didn’t rain all day every day—but it did rain every day. This is the flip side of California weather. It’s not just drought—it’s a regular alternation of drought and deluge, often lasting over decades.
The water crisis in northern Mexico has won a great deal of attention lately.
They’re right next to each other, and despite wild differences, they have one thing in common: water worries. They’re known as California and Arizona. Both are subject to what has been called the biggest drought in 1200 years.
A research team led by Renyuan Li of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, grew spinach plants out of water they extracted from the atmosphere.
The situation is “dire,” said Ian LeMay, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association, “and extremely disappointing.”
Thirty-five years ago, this scenario would have struck observers of California agriculture as dystopian and nightmarish, much like the 2019 Los Angeles of Blade Runner. Unlike that LA, where it rains all the time, the problem is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
The water crisis has especially hit the vastly productive San Joaquin Valley, where this year’s news roughly corresponds to everyone’s most horrific fears from 30 years ago.
In “No Water = No Crops,” a series of videos released today by Western Growers, three California farmers show the impact the drought is having on their operations, and the cascading losses that result to farmworkers and their communities.
The California Almond Objective Measurement Report, published Monday by the United States Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service, estimates that the 2021 crop will come in at 2.8 billion meat pounds, 10 percent below last year’s record of 3.1 billion pounds.