California Drought Creates Grim Ripple Effect

“The very success of a person as a politician is dependent upon resources that come from the people that you give exceptions to” says Michael Machado, farmer and former California State Senator. After traveling more than 2,000 miles across California, it’s clear that the state’s drought is mired in paradox with decades of water mismanagement and regional fighting. While cities – some of which never installed water meters – struggle to convince its dwellers to conserve, agriculture consumes 80% of California’s water. President Barack Obama back in February assured the public that he is well aware of the historic drought impacting the country’s biggest economy and largest agricultural producer. A month after he declared a State of Emergency, California Governor Jerry Brown joined Obama as he met with local farmers and leaders in the San Joaquin Valley, including visiting Joe del Bosque’s farm in the southern part of the Central Valley. The son of migrant farm workers, del Bosque learned the ins and outs of farming. When he was a child, the wells only allowed farmers to grow annual crops, such as cotton and alfalfa. If they were short on water they simply idled the land.

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