Is drought in California “the new normal”? – Challenges and opportunities for industry and policy
The California drought is not over. The El Niño rains has only delivered average amounts of rain and snow, primarily to the northern half of the state. Snowpack is now visible atop the Sierra, water levels are rising in many reservoirs and surface water deliveries to farmers and cities has increased. While the increased rain is a welcome change, California would have needed to see 2.5-3 times its average rainfall in order to begin ending the drought.
What is needed to protect groundwater resources from depleting? What does this mean for Californian agriculture and other water intensive industries in the region? What is needed in terms of policy and farmer practices to adjust to this “new normal” of consecutive and prolonged drought?