Water scarcity clouds California farming’s future

FRESNO, California (Reuters) – California almond farmer Marvin Meyers has moved into banking — water banking that is.

In the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the world’s most productive agricultural region, Meyers bought land to collect water in wet years and recharge a shallow aquifer. The water authority takes his supply for nearby farmers and gives him credit to irrigate from a canal at his orchard 15 miles away.

It cost Meyers $7 million and lots of headaches, but now he is the envy of farmers facing a third year of drought, drastic water cutbacks and billions of dollars in losses.

Worse may lie ahead, as climate change leads to longer droughts and depletes the mountain snowpack that now provides a steady stream of water until late in the farming year.

Read more here.

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