A recent survey by the Farm Water Coalition indicated that 41 percent of California’s irrigated farmland will lose 80 percent of its surface water in 2015 due to cutbacks because of the drought. Add that to a reduction of more than 30 percent last year and it’s obvious that farmers and ranchers have suffered the brunt of drought-related losses, so far.
That’s why the reactions to Gov. Jerry Brown’s announcement of urban water cutbacks earlier this month were eye-opening, with the farming community now finding itself under the spotlight in an entirely new way. While there are moments of discomfort with the some of the assumptions that have emerged, I see this new attention as an opportunity to explain the significance of California food production – especially in the Central Valley. Read More