California is experiencing the worst ever drought for the Bay Area in recorded history. This could be a glimpse into a drier future. Homes and farms are competing for water across nearly all of California.
California aside, the West Coast has lost nearly 63 trillion gallons of surface and near-surface water, in a Sept 26 2014 Science article.
For a stark view of what we’re dealing with, take a look at a stark graph of California’s reservoir levels.
The severe drought is increasing dairy farmers’ costs – especially organic dairy costs. To qualify as “organic milk” under USDA regulations, the cows must (1) eat organically produced feed and (2) graze their animals on organic grass pasture at least 120 days out of the year.
The problem is that grass pastures are drying up and the cost of organic feed is rising sky-high, leaving some organic cattle & dairy farmers, well – dry.
Historically, the USDA has lowered the minimum number of days on pasture and has cut the amount of organic feed. The USDA has received a request to do this once again.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, “Overall food prices this year will rise 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, up from 1.4 percent in 2013, with the California drought potentially having “large and lasting effects” on produce, dairy and eggs…”
We’re mindful of rising food costs, especially in those areas where food is already costly (such as dairy). However, with history’s worst ever drought in California (since record-keeping began), and with no relief in sight, the rising costs of food are out of our control.
We’ll continue to keep you posted with updated media & other links. (See below.)
Links of Interest