Current California Drought Will Cost Agriculture Sector Almost $2 Billion – Researchers at the University of California, Davis found in a study released on Tuesday that the California drought, now in its fourth year, is set to cost the agriculture sector $1.8 billion in direct losses this year.
The loss represents around 4% of the state’s massive $45 billion agriculture economy. When indirect losses are included on top of direct ones to the agriculture industry, the same study found that this year’s ongoing drought is set to cost the California economy a total of $2.7 billion.
The UC Davis study authors Richard Howitt, Jay Lund, Josue Medellin-Azuara, Duncan MacEwan and Daniel Summer estimated that around 564,000 acres of previously farmable land would be made fallow this year, resulting in around half of the direct loss in revenue.
Indirectly, the drought has caused over 8,000 full- and part-time jobs. Pumping for groundwater because there is no surface water, will cost the agriculture industry $600 million this year. However, California’s non-farming economy has not been affected by the drought.