Water supply availability and reliability continue to impact farm families and farmworkers alike.  Four years of sustained drought have taken a toll on San Joaquin Valley farms forcing farmers to find innovative solutions to increasingly scarce water supply resources.

A University of California, Davis study estimated that in 2015 surface water deliveries to California farms were reduced by 8.7 million acre-feet or enough water for 2-3 million acres of farmland.  While surface water deliveries were partially offset with increased groundwater supplies, the net reduction in water available for farming was 2.7 million acre-feet according to the report, resulting in more than 542,000 acres of land being fallowed and the loss of 21,000 jobs.

UCD 2014 water changes chart
Source: UC Davis “Economic Analysis of the 2015 Drought for California Agriculture”

UCD 2015 economic losses chart

UCD 2015 ag economic impacts