How to survive a mega-drought

Ben Phelan of Matter offers advice on living in a Golden State without water.

I’ve read that farmers use 80% of California’s available water supply, but only account for 2% of its economy. Seems like we should be squeezing the farmers, doesn’t it?

Farmers are already getting squeezed. California’s water-rights system is almost incomprehensibly complicated, but the result is that many farms that have depended for decades on an allotment of water from the state supply — their share of a public commodity — are now receiving nothing. Not a drop. Because there’s not enough to go around.

Pro tip: Think that through: California produces 50% of the United States’ fruits and vegetables, including 99% of several food crops. Humans needs food to live. Food needs water to grow. Farms grow food. You follow?

Image: Arthur Rothstein Farmer and sons in dust storm, Oklahoma, 1936. The Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

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