Tags: California | drought | consumers | blame

WaPo: Consumers Partly to Blame for California Drought

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 05:29 PM

A new report looks deeper into California's mandatory water restrictions and ultimately points a finger at consumers as potentially the biggest water hogs of all, despite the agricultural industry's using the most water in the literal sense.

The Washington Post talked to several farmers in California who rely on a healthy snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to supply much of the water they need to grow their crops every year.

But less snow fell in those mountains over the winter than in years past, resulting in a lot less water to feed crops that are ultimately shipped across the country and even the world.

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently decided to issue mandatory water restrictions for residents, but did not issue any such orders to the state's agricultural industry — which, according to the Post, uses 80 percent of the state's water supply, a figure that does not include water used for environmental purposes.

The agricultural industry gets much of its water through an intricate system of lakes, rivers, and streams, but last year only 15 percent of farmers' requests for water were granted because of a short supply, according to a Southern California Public Radio report.

This year, according to SCPR, that figure will be around 20 percent.

According to the Post, farmers purchase water in acre-feet, which amounts to how much water can cover an acre's worth of land 1 foot deep. Water prices have been as low as $50 or $60 per acre-foot, but when there's a drought and water is scarce, that price can shoot up to $1,500 per acre-foot.

Because of high consumer demand for things like beef, for example, which uses a lot of water to produce per ounce, water use will remain high.

A Los Angeles Times graphic breaks down the amount of water used to produce various foods and drinks in California. Almonds, which have been called out by many people as a water hog, are actually ranked low on the list. They require about 3 gallons of water to produce 1 ounce.

The end result could be farmers giving up — or at least scaling back — on certain crops that require a lot of water to produce.

"We have some crops that we just won't irrigate. Alfalfa's one of them," farm owner Mark Watte told the Post. "We'll just quit irrigating it in the summer, and if we don't get water, we won't irrigate."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
A new report looks deeper into California's mandatory water restrictions and ultimately points a finger at consumers as potentially the biggest water hogs of all, despite the agricultural industry's using the most water in the literal sense.
California, drought, consumers, blame
403
2015-29-08
Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 05:29 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved