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UC Davis Report: Drought Will Cost State Billions

Gregory Urquiaga /  UC Davis

Gregory Urquiaga / UC Davis

A new report finds the current drought is costing the state billions of dollars -- and is responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture.

The UC Davis study predicts that this year, the drought will cost the state $2.2 billion-- with agriculture taking the biggest hit at $1.5 billion.

The researchers say the drought will cost the state 17,000 seasonal and part-time jobs, and 428,000 acres of cropland will go out of production. That's about 5 percent of the state's farmland.

The study finds that overall, the agricultural economy is still doing well, thanks to groundwater reserves, but warns that better management of that groundwater is necessary to cope with the ongoing drought.

Researchers also say consumer food prices will be largely unaffected.

Economic Impact of the 2014 California Water Drought

 droughtUC Davis

Marianne Russ

Managing Editor, News

Russ coordinates the efforts of departmental divisions, including the regional news service, Insight with Beth Ruyak, Capital Public Radio Network, and The View From Here documentary series. She also oversees daily and long-range editorial planning.  Read Full Bio