California’s severe drought could become new Dust Bowl; ‘Agonizing death’ for farmers
by: David Gutierrez
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
The worst drought in at least a century threatens to reduce California’s agricultural industry to ruin, possibly creating a new Dust Bowl.
According to the White House’s top science and technology adviser, the western United States is suffering from the worst dry spell in 500 years. The drought’s effect on California in particular has national implications: California is the top farming state in the United States, producing one-third of the country’s fruits and vegetables.
California is suffering from its worst drought in at least 100 years, which Governor Jerry Brown has called an “unprecedented” emergency. Statewide, agriculture is a $44.7 billion business. In the Central Valley, California’s agricultural heartland, almost 40 percent of all jobs are agriculture-related.
“It’s really a crisis situation,” said Kenneth McDonald, city manager of Firebaugh, a Central Valley city. “And it’s going to get worse in time if this drought doesn’t alleviate.”
If the state’s agricultural industry fails, cities like Firebaugh may end up as ghost towns, McDonald warned.