When a crisis as big as the current megadrought emerges, and the subsequent strain and rationing follow in its wake, inevitably those affected and even armchair Californians are looking for scapegoats for a situation that is essentially the result of a warming world and a lack of systemic planning to adapt to those conditions.
Agriculture in particular has been singled out, with some outlets incorrectly suggesting the industry consumes 80 percent of the state's water supply. In reality, farming accounts for roughly 40 percent of the state's total water consumption, with the majority allocated to protected rivers, streams and wetlands. As Southern California Public Radio (SCPR) clarifies, agriculture accounts for 80 percent of water allocated for human consumption.
Farmers, however, aren't to blame for the current situation, and indeed many of those most affected by the drought are farmers themselves, though some within the profession certainly aren't helping. In 2010, 43 percent of California farmland used some form of flood irrigation, an inefficient and relatively cheap method that uses a lot of water. Drip irrigation is more costly, but conserves water and can improve yields, as one farmer relayed to the Sacramento Bee after he made the switch.
Plants Thrive in Psychedelic, Underground Farms