Author: Thomas



California suffering through driest three years ever recorded, with no relief in sight.

The worst drought to hit California since the 1930s prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on Thursday, which would give his administration the power to issue disaster declarations and pay claims for damages.

While California’s drought appears to be easing, the effects for some are going to be felt for years to come.

Here’s how it’s playing out now and what’s next for California.


This year’s statewide drought has already cost the state an estimated $500 million in crop damage, according to the National Weather Service. There are also more than 200,000 acres of farmland that is under water, the last of which was released Friday afternoon.

But the effects of the drought are only beginning to surface now, after years of the public being warned by state officials about it, and then hearing nothing.

At a drought hearing last year in Sacramento, Brown urged the state’s farmers to be the solution, saying the state had already done enough. But as he has since then, the governor has continued to offer public and private help to farmers, which has led to a slow recovery in the state, which is now feeling the effects of it.

State officials estimate the drought is likely to cause $1 billion in lost agricultural income this year alone, an increase of $200 million from last year’s $400 million loss.

“The drought has been a very difficult time for our farmers, and they have worked very hard to make things right,” Brown said in a written statement Friday. “There is always more to be done, and some of the recent steps the state has taken to help farmers and ranchers are making a significant difference.”

Brown also noted that while farms have suffered losses since the state declared the drought last year, the state’s agricultural output remains at record levels.

“The drought is making our agricultural crop production stronger and more resilient,” he said.

But a report released Friday by the California Department of Water Resources, which is the state’s primary water agency, said that as water

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