Memo on the impact of California Drought




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SUBJECT:  Impact of California Drought on overall business strategy in the Agriculture                                               Industry

DATE:        20.02.2020



This Memorandum aims to identify and present the business strategies of the Agriculture Industry. The impact of the California drought on the Agriculture Industry is also covered. These business strategies will focus on the role of the California Agricultural Industry concerning the effects of drought on agriculture in California. The recent drought monitors have shown that approximately 96.4% of California is free from dryness. This has been as a result of the rainfalls that have been experienced in the region, reducing the rate of drought to an approximate of 3.6%. The Memorandum will focus on the causes of drought, the effects of drought on agriculture, and the role of the Agriculture Industry on the eradication of drought in California. The Agricultural Industry business strategies will also outline and discuss the recommendations to the government policies regarding drought and climate change in California.


California is the leading State of America with the Agricultural abundance. The State accounts for an estimate of 13% of the country’s total value in agriculture. The state booms in both the farm and the livestock products. It is projected that California feeds a worldwide population of close to 9billion. The massive agricultural success of California is dependent on the close to perfect locations favorable for the growth of crops and the keeping of livestock. California is one of the large states of America and endowed with diverse ecosystems and tracts of land with fertile, well-drained soils that support the fruition of a variety of crop species. However, in recent years California has encountered spells of drought that have impacted the agriculture industry negatively. The drought is a result of climate change making the sustainability of agriculture a challenge.

In comparison to the other years, the worst drought spells in California were experienced between the years 2011 and 2015. However, in recent years according to the drought monitors, California has been able to recover from drought with only an approximate of less than 4% still in a drought. The relationship between agriculture and climate change cannot be separated since both the adverse and positive forces of climate change affect agriculture.

California Agricultural Industry

California has a remarkable agriculture industry that produces safe, affordable, and healthy foods. As a Mediterranean region, it provides global foods, and the State must maintain its agricultural markets and also remain profitable and competitive in the global markets. The most important strategy employed by the farming industry in California is the control of production costs, collaboration with the environmental control agencies to prevent drought, and the effective use of the available resources for agricultural production. However, the California agriculture industry faces various challenges, preferably related to climate change.

Drought in recent years in California saw the deterioration of agriculture due to the decrease in water levels that led to the death of vegetations and livestock. The State of California, however, collaborates with the other agencies such as the California Agricultural Vision, which was born from the California Department of Food and Agriculture together with the State Board of Food and Agriculture, to curtail all the obstacles to the agricultural business initiatives in California. In the events of drought in California, the farm industry recruited the advisory committee that involved hunger experts, environmentalists, and farming representatives in seeking solutions to the drought predicament and its adverse impacts on agriculture in California.

The agriculture industry in California recognizes the effects of continued human activities on the environment that contributes significantly to drought. The destruction of the situation to create more lands for agriculture is the primary risk factor for climate change. The change in climate brings in adverse dry spells that California has experienced in recent history. However, the agricultural representatives of California have been in the forefront to advocate for safe agriculture that preserves the environment to prevent drought in the future. The State of California anticipates agricultural global market expansions, and one of the key strategies put in place is the evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of some of the organizational arrangements regarding the environment and their impacts on agriculture.

Water is the heart of agriculture in California to facilitate animal husbandry and the irrigation of crops. The agricultural industry has been facing competition from the rampant urbanization. Still, the strategy for sustainability has been put into place to counter both the long term and short term droughts and other possibilities of water shortages in the future. The agriculture industry in California is keen on the maintenance of its sustainability and profitability in the global market; therefore, the need for efficient water supplies is a priority. The sector is strategizing on the improvement of the Sierra Nevada, which is the highest reservoir in California to curtail the rates of warming weather. Control in the warming climate reduces the chances of drought in the future. The agricultural industry has policies in place also to ensure the conservation of the farming lands and the available water resources. The preservation of the environment promotes agriculture and prevents the probability of future drought in California.

 Drought in California

California experienced the most between 2011 and 2015. However, from the recent reports, California has overcome the drought in the northern part with the rest of the State left in exceptional or extreme drought. Drought is temporary but can take months or even years. The reduction in the water levels mostly characterizes drought. California is an agricultural state, and due to its dependence on the irrigation systems, the drought spells are devastating. The effects of the California droughts have had adverse effects on the marine lives, the forests, and all the agricultural vegetations. However, the experiences from the drought will enable California to enhance its capability to manage drought in the future. In recent history, California has been in a position to face each drought with infrastructure, policies, and institution managements as a result of the lessons from the previous droughts. Drought is a threat to the ecosystems, natural organisms, humans and also can be associated with the decline of civilizations.

The destruction of the ecosystems and the natural environment by drought in California translates to the adverse effects on Agriculture. The economic impact of drought in California is adverse due to the reliance of the economy on water. It can also be noted that California has restructured the economy to enable it to accommodate the drought spells. Along the way, more destruction on the natural ecosystems is experienced. Several factors have been identified as the risk factors of drought, but the change in climate is on the lead. Drought is associated with several effects, but in the case of California, the agricultural industry feels the most heat. Drought results in food shortages and instability in terms of food prices. California is the blood pulse of the United States in agricultural production, and the role of the eradication of drought is a responsibility for America and not only California.

Climate Change

Climate change contributes to drought as a result of the evaporation of the water from the soils due to the warming temperatures. The changing climate alters the atmospheric streams of narrow moisture, and they eventually disrupt the precipitation patterns in California and other parts of America. One of the challenges facing California is the melting snowpack of the Sierra Rivera, and this can be attributed to the warming temperatures and potentially decimating the waters. The weather scientists have been on the lookout, and there are assumptions of changes in the future annual and seasonal precipitation. However, the scientists at a global scale anticipate the higher latitudes and tropics to get wetter while the subtropics get drier. Climate change is not only a predicament in California but also to the globe.

The effects of climate change are observable and have adverse effects on the environment. The scientists have anticipated future changes in the climate and, therefore, crucial for the concerned agencies to put in place legislation and policies to preserve the environment. The impacts of climate change are predicted to go for many decades, depending on the sensitivity of the earth to the green gases emitted in the atmosphere. As a result of this climate change, droughts are projected to become more adverse, accompanied by cold waves all over the globe.


The need for resilience to drought is inevitable, and the local government of the State of California must understand their vulnerability to the dry spells and employ resistance through the conservation of the water surveyors, planting of the drought-resistant crops as well as the emergency management for drought. The drought-resistant crops are an alternative plan to unpredicted drought and change in the climate.

The deployment of the green infrastructure is also an alternative to the development of resilience against drought. The federal and State agencies of California should emphasize on the construction of the ready water conservation projects through the provision of funds and structural, technical help.

The innovative technologies should be advocated for in California by the local governments through the facilitation of the permit processes that encourage water recycling. The overall state responses to drought should be reviewed to create more opportunities for the advancement of future drought responses.

The state board of California should initiate the convention of the field experts and practitioners from all the fields to come up with systematic and comprehensive strategies to promote agriculture in California and also healthy diets and food security in the face of drought. The stakeholders of the California agricultural industry should resort to more long term than short term solutions to the growth of the farming industry to maintain its competitiveness in the global market and also an adequate supply of food to the locals.

The state board of California should also initiate the volunteer groups to work in the private agriculture sector to facilitate the formulation to increase the amounts of food donated into the food banks of California.


California is an agricultural state that supplies both the local and global populations with food. The economy of California depends on the farming sector; therefore, periods of drought affect California adversely. The government has been keen on the formulation of policies to enhance sustainable agriculture in California, even during the dry seasons. Drought is attributed to the change in the climate. The difference in climate is mostly associated with the rising temperatures that accelerate the loss of soil moisture and the melting of the California snowpack. Over the years, California has fought relatively low rainfalls radiating sun and adverse rising temperatures. The effects of drought are experienced by both the local and the international community.

The extent to which California experiences drought depends on her relationship with the international community and the extent to which the local government is prepared for the drought spells. The relationship of California with the international community is relatively reasonable, and this enables them to access foreign aid with much ease. Drought also affects the agricultural industry through the reduction of prices for both the farm products and the livestock product. The recent years have however, seen the recovery of California from drought, and the costs of the dairy products will have gone up since the costs of hay have incredibly gone down. The recovery of California from the long period of drought is a win for the agricultural industry, and this translates to the realization of the agricultural business strategy.


Howitt, R., MacEwan, D., Medellín-Azuara, J., Lund, J., & Sumner, D. (2017). Economic analysis of the 2015 drought for California agriculture.

Howitt, R., MacEwan, D., Medellín-Azuara, J., Lund, J., & Sumner, D. (2017). Economic analysis of the 2015 drought for California agriculture.

Wilhite, D. A. (2016). Droughts: A Global Assesment. Routledge.

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