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August 7, 2014

California Drought: Updates and Solutions

A newly released study sheds light on the extent of the impact that California’s drought has had on Central Valley, coastal, and southern farm production, and also has projected the drought’s economic impact through 2016.

Conducted courtesy of the University of California-Davis’ Center for Watershed Sciences, findings put the total statewide economic cost of the 2014 drought at $2.2 billion with 17,100 seasonal and part-time agriculture jobs lost – roughly 3.8% of farm unemployment.

In light of California drought conditions, many agricultural operations across the state are turning to farmland financing to fund projects and renovations to reduce their water usage through cost-efficient upgrades and resets.

By utilizing ag loans, operations can install and implement a wide variety of water and energy-efficiency systems including rainwater catchment, drip irrigation, smart sprinklers, weather smart irrigation, gray water recycling, and wastewater management. High-efficiency toilet installations are also highly effective in saving water. In fact, estimates predict that an average household could save 16,000 gallons of water each year by installing high-efficiency toilets alone. What’s more, just an average household, by adding other water efficiency systems, would notice an estimated one-third reduction in total water usage, which translates to savings of more than 50,000 gallons per year! So, just imagine what these water-saving systems could do for a large-scale farming operation annually.

Rather than wait around for a miracle to transpire, it’s important that agricultural operations and communities step up and become an integral part of the solution when it comes to water conservation. There are tools to effectively cut down on water use during these drought-ridden times. Plus, the investment in water conservation systems not only serves as a solution to the problem but also lowers water bills immediately – a bonus payoff! Money saved? Water saved? Seems like a kill-two-birds-with-one-stone solution!

For ag lending assistance in the face of drought-ridden times, consult one of our farm loan experts in your region.

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