California Drought and Global Warming
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21308
Global warming is not only exacerbating the drought, it has likely transformed the ecology of the state well into the future.
Agricultural losses due to the drought are in the tens of billions. Some crops have been abandoned. As growers scramble for the depleting water supply, they have turned to pumping up more and more groundwater from ever deeper wells. A result is that the surface ground level in the Valley has dropped by over one foot.
There are many smaller effects of the drought. One example is that black bears have been coming down from hills into a small town, looking for food, as their regular food supplies are dwindling. This includes acorns these omnivores rely on, as oak trees in these hills have died or become so weak they cannot produce acorns.
California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency and called for a 25% reduction in water use, a target aimed at individuals and small businesses - not agribusiness, which sucks up 80% of California water. There have been small cutbacks imposed on this sector by necessity.