The Hidden Victims of California’s Drought | VICE News

“California is struggling through the fourth year of a historic drought. It has included the driest calendar year in the state’s history (2013), and the year with the lowest snowpack in the state’s history (2015). Because California is America’s largest agricultural producer, the world’s eighth largest economy, and home to fish and wildlife that are found nowhere else on Earth, California’s response to drought could very well impact the entire world — and be a test run for a future in which climate change likely makes droughts more frequent and more severe.

“Much of the focus of media coverage of California’s drought has focused on the agriculture sector, which uses about 80 percent of the water used by humans in California. Although many farms have installed drip irrigation and improved their water-use efficiency in recent decades, nearly 50 percent of all the irrigated acreage in California still uses inefficient flood-and-furrow irrigation, in which fields are covered by standing water. And despite the drought, Wall Street investment firms and other corporations have bought up farmland and planted hundreds of thousands of acres in recent years, often planting almond orchards or other permanent crops on land that has never before been irrigated, relying ever more heavily on over-drafted groundwater supplies.”  Sourced through Scoop.it from: news.vice.com

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