There has been a drought going on in California for the last four years, but up to this point it’s not been so bad. The food world worries about what will happen to food prices if California can’t break out of this drought.
As of yesterday, the Governor imposed the first mandatory water restriction, while they have been under a State of Emergency drought alert since March 27th. The restriction will only save about 25% of the water usage, but with a record low snow fall this past winter they are beginning to really hurt for any kind of water. The government is asking citizens to not water lawns or gardens, cut back on showering, and washing vehicles. The government is prepared to hand out fines for those who don’t abide by the restrictions.
Scientists are saying that climate change and global warming are only making the drought worse. The main combination of not enough rain and the intense heat is a terrible combination that led to the drought. Scientists predict that droughts will be something we see the west plagued with as global warming becomes worse.
California is the main producer of things like almonds, avocados, broccoli, garlic, and walnuts. Not to mention the rough turn it can have on the Napa Valley where there are many vineyards. Government officials say that food prices were going to rise this year anyhow, but the California drought could make those prices worse.
There will be a shortage of these types of California crops, which will result in higher prices on the available product. However, there could be a real possibility that in the coming years California’s drought could get worse and there may not be these products.
The water restriction put in place by government won’t affect the agriculture world, but the lack of snow fall that melts and gets into the ground has already really hurt farmers by them having to water crops so early in the growing season. The other problem is a lot of farmers have switched from crops like wheat to higher value crops like tree nuts to make more money.
The good news though is that some other areas that aren’t experiencing droughts may start planting some of the crops that won’t be able to be produced in California to pick up the slack, but experts still say it won’t be enough to keep prices down.