November 26, 2022
California agriculture reels from drought’s severity
MERCED – (INT) - Precipitation, temperature, the amount of stored water available – the past three years have been the driest period on record in California. It is one of the hottest periods, with roughly 68% of the 20th century average precipitation.

University of California researchers estimate that in 2022 alone, California’s agriculture and food processing industry has lost 19,414 jobs and $2 billion in value added (Gross Domestic Product or GDP) due to the ongoing drought.

The data was issued Tuesday November 22nd by the University of California, Merced.

The report also shows how the impacts of climate change have worsened the effects of the drought by increasing the evaporative demand from vegetation by 3-5 inches. That means the gap between the water needed and the water on hand is even wider than in previous droughts – and not just for agriculture, but also for ecosystems and communities across the board.

The results of the research also confirm the importance of California’s comprehensive slate of actions taken in response to this and previous droughts, and given the new, hotter and drier “normal” brought about by climate change. Those actions, ranging from modernizing water management to accelerating water supply projects to adopting emergency water conservation measures, are detailed at https://drought.ca.gov/state-drought-response/.
Story Date: November 25, 2022
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