Yesterday California Governor Jerry Brown announced an executive order mandating cities and towns in the drought-ravaged state to reduce water usage by 25%. Unaffected by this order were the state’s farms, which consume 80% of the state’s water. Why did farms get a pass on these reductions? How much longer can they get away with it?
Check out this article in the Daily Beast about the politics of water in California.
According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state in 2013 exported the following amounts of food key to our nation’s food supply:
Milk — $7.6 billion
Almonds — $5.8 billion
Grapes — $5.6 billion
Cattle, Calves — $3.05 billion
Strawberries — $2.2 billion
Walnuts — $1.8 billion
Lettuce — $1.7 billion
Hay — $1.6 billion
Tomatoes — $1.2 billion
Nursery plants— $1.2 billion
How will the rest of nation’s food supply be effected by California’s worsening drought? What happens when the state’s farms are forced to reduce water consumption?
Wouldn’t it make sense for NYC residents to think about these questions now, before there’s a crisis. Community gardens certainly provide at least part of the answer. In January, Mayor DiBlasio’s Housing Dept. announced that 17 gardens were to be developed as affordable housing. Let Mayor DiBlasio know that you want the 17 gardens saved from development so they can continue to provide residents with a secure and healthy source for fresh produce. You can reach his Brooklyn liaison Kicy Motley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send her a note today to express your concern.