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Climate, geography, demography, and water resources of California

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California
California is a populous state on the Pacific coast of the southwestern United States. It is generally more well-watered in the north than in the south, and there are diversion structures which deliver water from the north to the south. In 2008 a drought was declared in California, the first since 1991. "Statewide, 2008 was the driest spring and summer on record, with rainfall 76 percent below average." The drought continued into 2009 with the governor declaring a state of emergency on February 27, 2009.[1][2] In 2010 increased snow and rain somewhat relieved drought conditions.[3]

AgricultureEdit

Agricultural use consumes 80% of California's water but produces only 2% of its gross domestic product.[4] Pumping from the aquifers in the valleys has supplied water for agricultural use for decades. Until recently there have been no restriction on withdrawals which has resulted in a fall in the water table and in subsidence. As of 2015 new legislation attempts to address this problem but will not be fully implemented until the 2040s.[5] Water mining of ground water, far beyond its rate of recharge, in the Central Valley of California by agricultural interests such as the Westlands Water District supports an unsustainable agricultural economy. The situation is aggravated by cultivation of crops such as almonds which cannot be fallowed.[6]

NotesEdit

  1. McGreevy, Patrick. Schwarzenegger proclaims state of emergency because of drought. Los Angeles Times. 2009-02-27. URL:http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-california-drought28-2009feb28,0,526703.story. Accessed: 2009-02-27. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5euYKmDxL) Please note that the short ("opaque") form of the WebCite® URL should be used only in addition to citing the original URL in your bibliographic reference. Alternatively, please use the "transparent" (but very long!) WebCite® URL: http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fla-me-california-drought28-2009feb28%2C0%2C526703.story&date=2009-02-27
  2. Schwarzenegger, Arnold. A proclamation by the governor of the state of California. Los Angeles Times. 2009-02-27. URL:http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-drought-proclamation28-2009feb28,0,3095303.story. Accessed: 2009-02-27. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5euaGEow8) Please note that the short ("opaque") form of the WebCite® URL should be used only in addition to citing the original URL in your bibliographic reference. Alternatively, please use the "transparent" (but very long!) WebCite® URL: http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Fnews%2Flocal%2Fla-me-drought-proclamation28-2009feb28%2C0%2C3095303.story&date=2009-02-27
  3. "California: Parched Farms Get a Measure of Relief" Associated Press, The New York Times February 26, 2010
  4. "How Growers Gamed California’s Drought: Consuming 80 percent of California’s developed water but accounting for only 2 percent of the state’s GDP, agriculture thrives while everyone else is parched" article by Mark Hertsgaard in The Daily Beast March 30, 2015
  5. "Beneath California Crops, Groundwater Crisis Grows" article by Justin Gillis and Matt Richtel, in The New York Times April 5, 2015
  6. "Farmers Try Political Force to Twist Open California’s Taps: Few in agriculture have shaped the debate over water more than the several hundred owners of an arid finger of farmland west of Fresno." article by By Michael Wines and Jennifer Medina in The New York Times Magazine December 30, 2015

External links and further readingEdit

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