FarmPolicy

August 23, 2017

California Drought Update

Following a report earlier this week in the Los Angeles Times, which pointed to the persistent dry conditions in California, an update this week at the National Drought Monitor indicated that, “It was another dry week for much of the West, with parts of the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Intermountain Basin receiving no precipitation.”

Mountain snowpack remained well below normal, not just in California but all across the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and Intermountain Basin,” the update said.

Bloomberg writer Craig Giammona reported this week that, “Carrot farming is proving to be a tough job for Campbell Soup Co.

“The soup giant, which acquired a carrot business as part of its 2012 purchase of Bolthouse Farms, is struggling with extreme weather in California, the crops’ main growing region. The conditions — first drought, then intense rains — contributed to a 28 percent decline in the division’s profit last quarter.

California’s record-setting drought has forced Campbell to shift harvesting to farms that weren’t as hard hit, as well as increasing land and water costs. In December, a series of rainstorms struck the state. While they didn’t end the drought, they damaged the crops.”

From a policy perspective, a news release on Thursday from Rep. John Garamendi (D., Calif.) stated that, “Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) and [Rep. Garamendi] today announced the introduction of HR 1060, which will accelerate the completion of a feasibility study of Sites Reservoir and authorize the project should it be found feasible. Located in Colusa and Glenn counties, Sites Reservoir is a proposed off-stream reservoir that would store as much as 1.8 million acre feet of water for cities, agriculture and the environment.”

The news release noted that, “The California Department of Water Resources recently reported that Sites Reservoir would generate an additional 900,000 acre feet of water during droughts, enough water to supply over seven million Californians for an entire year.”

“The Northern California Water Agency produced an infographic on Sites Reservoir,” the release said.

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