How drought influences economy and daily life
We think often that major problems could not influence our lives: this is not the case. Even if drought does not directly impact on the availability of water in our neighborhood or city, it can deeply affect the economy of a state even as wealthy as California. According to Don Willmott, this crisis can have an impact on the entire US due to the importance of California agriculture in the national industry. Water shortage and counter measures to keep reserves up, will raise prices in California initially and in the entire nation afterwards. Thousands of acres will remain idle due to lack of water and this will heavily increase losses for farmers and for the economy of the state. As Heesun Wee affirms, California losses hit $1bn and could raise to $1.8bn by the end of the year, causing a deep economic and social crisis in the Golden State.
According to WSJ “for the first time in nearly 40 years, California officials on Friday ordered holders of some of the oldest and most significant water-rights claims in the state to stop drawing water”. The result? It is simple: with pumping capacity reduced farmers and breeders cannot reach their expected production threshold and are forced to reduce volumes and increase prices. According to Ms. Wee Rice “farmers are planting about 30 percent less rice this year, according to the California Rice Commission and the dairy and cattle industries are forecast to lose $350 million in revenues, according to UC Davis research”.
Governor Jerry Brown called for water conservation and the population replied positively, since according to LA Times “the overall water usage dropped 29% in May”. However Los Angeles is experiencing the driest 4-year period in 138 years and every side of daily life is involved. Authorities call to actions and established monitoring center, while newspapers and media added columns and useful tips to their publications to improve social awareness.
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