2014 saw the extension of a historic drought across the US West. Croplands withered or were fully abandoned. Water rationing was enforced. Well tables dropped. The price of many vegetables and meats have skyrocketed.
But the past month has seen a welcome set of rain systems arrive along the Pacific coast. As a result, some regions like northern California are currently at 140% of rainfall vs the typical year. To drive home why this is such an important topic for everyone to follow, the table below shows how critical California's agricultural output is to feeding the rest of America:
So is an end to the drought in sight?
The short answer is 'no'. And were not close to it (yet). Much will depend on the rainfall levels over the next three months, and how much of that accumulates as snow pack.
To explore this important issue in depth, we welcome Doug Parker, the Director of the California Institute for Water Resources, as well as the Strategic Initiative Leader for the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Water Quality Quantity and Securities Strategic Initiative.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Doug Parker (27m:58s)