Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sustaining California Agriculture in an Uncertain Future

This report by the Pacific Institute dated July 2009 argues that California’s future is increasingly uncertain. Competition over limited water resources continues
and climate change is increasing climate variability. With existing technologies, management practices, and educational and institutional resources, we can reduce agriculture’s vulnerability to water supply constraints and improve its long-term sustainability.

The report concludes with a series of key political, legal, and economic initiatives that would promote more productive and, ultimately, more sustainable water management in California. One of the many challenges to studying water issues in California is the lack of a consistent, comprehensive, and accurate estimate of actual water use. The failure to accurately account for water use contributes directly to the failure to manage it sustainably. Efforts should be implemented immediately to improve our understanding of actual water use in the agricultural sector.

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