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Economic Analysis of the 2014 Drought for California Agriculture

Publication Date
Jun 30, 2014
Center for Watershed Sciences John Muir Institute of the Environment


This report updates estimates on the drought\textquoterights effects on Central Valley farm production, presents new data on the state\textquoterights coastal and southern farm areas, and forecasts the drought\textquoterights economic fallout through 2016.The study found that the drought — the third most severe on record — is responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture, with river water for Central Valley farms reduced by roughly one-third. Groundwater pumping is expected to replace most river water losses, with some areas more than doubling their pumping rate over the previous year. More than 80 percent of this replacement pumping occurs in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin. The results highlight California agriculture\textquoterights economic resilience and vulnerabilities to drought and underscore the state\textquoterights reliance on groundwater to cope with droughts.

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