In the valleys of Central California, the search for water has become a frenzy. Disappointed people saw the fertile fields turn into brown and dusty plains and the leaves of the trees and shrubs withered.
Much of California and parts of the west coast of the United States have received less rain than usual in recent years, especially during the winter months.
Banners reading “Save California Water” appeared everywhere and for fear of water shortages in cities, authorities drastically cut off water supplies to farmers. This caused anger and conflict.
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Farmers accuse California Governor Gavin Newsom of imposing a number of strict restrictions and not playing a key role in supplying food to other parts of the United States.
Nick Foglio, 28, a fourth-generation farmer and fodder producer in Fresno, says two of my wells dried up last week. He now has over 8,000 acres of blue clover grass on the verge of losing due to drought.
Foglio hopes that as a result of this failed policy we and the rest of the world will starve.
[ Klimaforskerens beskjed etter FN-rapport: – Pust med magen ]
It seems that the California government does not agree. Against climate change, they passed a new crisis law last month that bans farmers and others from regulating rivers and streams.
According to John Jones of the California Department of Water Resources, in years when nature does not give us rain, there will be no water in it.
When authorities stopped the water supply, farmers and others relied on their own wells. It has to be dug deeper and deeper and is expensive, but the waters will eventually run out.
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The situation is so bad, says Licet Garcia, who used to irrigate half of the 80-acre farm that grows fruits and vegetables. But the well is now dry.
Garcia has been waiting for weeks for well diggers, and they hope to get water under the farm. However, well diggers have their hands full and have a lot of customers.
Heat and drought have devastated parts of the crop this year, but the 30-year-old has not lost hope.
There is a lot of burning and drying, Garcia says, and the fruit is not as big and juicy as usual.
Eating has become a luxury. She says it’s so horrible.
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Six on top of almond trees
Daniel Hardwick, one of the farmers investing in it, recently uprooted thousands of precious and fragrant almond trees from his farm near Huron, California.
– He admits that it breaks my heart once I see the big machines cleaning the green garden. Without sufficient water and at temperatures above 40 C, the trees withered.
It was a terrible shock, Hardwick admits, seeing more than 80,000 acres of wolf farm.
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Billion in revenue
Despite the latest drip irrigation technology and sensors that ensure minimum water consumption, this is not enough. The almond trees are thirsty and have to tear down a large farm for the first time.
There is not enough water to sustain the life of almond trees. It hurts, Hardwick says.
Almond cultivation alone brings in more than $ 50 billion in annual sales in California, and the state produces about 80 percent of all the almonds in the world. Demand has doubled over the past 15 years as demand for almond milk and other alternatives to animal products has increased.
Betting on the sun
According to experts, climate change will lead to more severe and frequent droughts, which will further affect food production in the United States and other parts of the world.
It is difficult for about 330 million people in the United States to become self-sufficient in food, but in California, more and more farmers are abandoning food production and investing in something that will at least generate income — solar energy.
Dry, autumn crops are now being replaced by solar panels in many places, providing new revenue and climate-friendly power generation. There is a lot of sun in arid California.
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