California’s Drought Costing Farmers $600M
The supply of water is a global issue for farmers (more to come on this topic in a later post) and here in California, drought conditions continue to put pressure on growers. A new survey from UC Davis sheds some light on the extensive impact the water shortage is having on California agriculture. The economic cost of the drought to farmers is estimated to be $603 million this year. This is being driven by a combination of lost crop value and the increased cost of pumping ground water. The upside, if there is one, is that farmers slowed the fallowing of land, removing 78,000 acres this year, which is significantly less that last years total (500,000 acres).
So, where do we go from here? Luckily, those of us living in Northern California can expect a rainy winter this year, courtesy of the Farmers Almanac. But what about the rest of California? It’s hard to imagine a single wet Northern Californian winter solving the entire state’s water needs. So, in addition to looking to the the skies and waiting for the next wet winter, we can take a proactive approach. This is where WaterBit comes in.
We are developing tools that allow farmers to make more informed irrigation decisions, save water and reduce the drought’s impact. We can’t change the weather, but we can certainly maximize our water usage.