According to Bloomberg, the California drought is already setting up to burn a large hole in the state's revenue.
“It would impact us for not just 2014, but all of 2015,” Bob Kelley, who runs a local water district, told Bloomberg. “I’m anticipating a very difficult time, and I’m probably the best off of anybody I know.”
The California Farm Water Coalition estimates that lost revenue from the drought in everything from farming to trucking could top $5 billion.
“Any job that’s associated with agriculture is hurting,” Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalitions aid.
While some farmers were able to conserve water in years past, they won’t get “any preferential treatment” over uses by municipalities, he said.
Last year was record dry in the state, with the average rainfall in California at 7 inches. This is the lowest on record dating back to 1895. Drew Lerner, the president of World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas, predicts dry weather and drought will persist through 2014.
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a drought emergency in mid-January.
The drought deals an especially massive blow to the state’s beef and dairy herds. Ranchers are already beginning to sell off livestock at a time when sale barns are typically slow. Read more here.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) National Water and Climate Center released its first forecast for the year, indicating lower-than-average stream flows across much of the west this spring. An NRCS map of projected steam flows shows much of California and Nevada at less than 25 percent of normal. Click here for more.
Catholic bishops have even stepped in to help, asking people of all faiths to join in prayer for rain. In a news release, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops offered sample prayers for those interested in praying for rain.