We take showers, flush our toilets, and drink bottles of water without giving in much thought – they’re just our basic daily routines. However, these daily routines are upended in areas of California that are stricken with a relentless and punishing drought. Residents cannot flush a toilet, take a shower, fill a glass with drinking water, wash dishes or clothes, or even rinse their hands without having to seek a bucket or bottle of water. Having been weeks without tap water, Californians are desperate for help.
It’s not the first time California’s had a drought on such a scale- the worst drought so far had occurred during the Civil War. As a result of the nominal rainfall, the vast grazing of sheep and cattle was ruined, and the “rancho economy” of California, as it was known to be, ended. Farmers and ranchers were already bereft of the gold the state was known for when it just had been annexed as a part of the United States.
The current drought’s expected to bring similar impacts on its economy, as it’s bound to bash on California’s agricultural sector. UC Davis reports that the state’s agricultural sector faces a net water shortage of 1.6 million acre-feet this year, which will result in a $810 million crop revenue loss and a $203 million loss in dairy and other livestock value. Groundwater pumping costs are also affected by the drought. It was projected that there would be a $454 million loss. With job losses factored in, the total economic impact on the state is around $2.2 billion.
Even when rainstorms begin to enter as the season changes, it’s predicted that the drought will worsen. On November 1st, rain finally began pouring down on the California; although it was record setting, with 1.35 inches of rain, it did not leave a dent on the drought. The recovery from the drought is, unfortunately, far off.
Chances are that the drought will continue into next year, continuing the detrimental effects on the state’s economy. As the days go on, we can only cross our fingers in hope for the residents of California.