The Ripple Effect Of The California Drought

People all over the United States are quickly waking up to the fact the California drought impacts the entire nation. Governor Jerry Brown last week imposed mandatory water restrictions across the state. The reason – the state’s four-year drought. The drought in California has lasted much longer than 4 years. The current drought really started in 2007. We had one season of decent rainfall November 2010 to March 2011 and the drought was declared over in 2011 only to have drought-declared again in 2012. One season of rainfall was not really sufficient and as a result, California is really in the 8th year of drought and the ripples are being felt across the U.S.


California farmers supply the country with almost half the fruits and vegetables consumed. We learned last week 80% of the nations strawberries are grown in California and now learn 99 percent of artichokes, 99 percent of walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis, 97 percent of plums, 95 percent of celery, 95 percent of garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, and 69 percent of carrots are grown in California. This is just the start of the list. As prices of fruits and vegetables increase the ripple effect we see is changes in health. This will be especially true for Americans earning lower wages. We know as the price of fresh fruit and vegetables climb more grains are eaten. Refined grains with added sugar will be even more attractive due to the price increase of fresh vegetables and fruits and we will experience greater challenges in obesity. The ripple effect from that will be a greater cost for health care and insurance.

No Work

Thousands of directly relatable jobs on farms will be a loss due to the drought. It was estimated over 17,000 jobs were lost in 2014 due to the drought. This has a ripple effect on other agricultural industries like processing plants, fertilizer, and seed companies. This has a lasting effect on rural communities. Many people move from these small towns to larger cities. Others who stay end up spending less because they earn less money. This contributes to an overall lower standard of living for the community.

Less Money To Spend

Workers and consumers earning less while spending more on food will have less money. This means a decrease in spending on the other things we like to spend money on. This year in particular, due to lower gasoline prices consumers are feeling more confident about prices of goods and services dropping across the U.S. due to lower gas prices. This confidence could be quickly offset by higher food prices.

What To Do

One way to solve this problem is by putting a value on conservation. You don’t need to “save” water, you just need to decide not using as much of it is worth something to you. You get this by figuring out your dollar savings. You also get this when someone pays a rebate back to water users who use less. You will find consumers will get very creative about saving water when they know they can earn a rebate. No one is telling them to use less or how to useless. They just know if they use less they save and earn. There is one company I know of today who is providing rebates on water and energy reductions, MeterHero. You can learn all about their programs on their website or on #landscapechat 11:00 am PDT tomorrow April 8th. Please check them out. There are many additional solutions. Responsibly managing the water you have now is key. Drip irrigation, smart controllers, right plant right place are just a few of the solutions. Raising awareness is also key, so please continue to share the message of water conservation and let us know how we can help. If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to the blog and following me on Twitter @H2oTrends


Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Blog and Training Emails

Upcoming Live Trainings

Register for our upcoming live trainings. Get all your questions answered live!


Rooted in Sustainability: Exploring Microorganisms and Regenerative Farming

Join us for an enlightening webinar exploring the world of regenerative agriculture. Delve into soil biology, microorganisms, and regenerative practices with CEO Miles Sorel of Terraforma. Learn about core principles, benefits for growers, and the impact on food quality and sustainability. Gain insights into microorganism applications and their interaction with plant roots. Don’t miss this transformative journey!

Register Now For Free >>

Fall Forward: Smart Strategies to Combat Seasonal Water Waste

As summer transitions into autumn, there’s an often-overlooked challenge that demands our attention – the surge in landscape water waste. This irrigation training episode focuses on the unexpected increase in water wastage during the fall season and why most landscapes are being overwatered. Actionable strategies to curb this waste and enhance sustainable water management will be shared.

Register Now For Free >>