Southern California: drought has returned

The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that large swaths of Southern California have drifted back into moderate drought conditions. This is especially disheartening in the wake of the heavy rains we saw between October 2016 and March 2017. California averaged 78 cm’s of precipitation during that period, the second-highest totals since records began being kept in 1895.

But this week's numbers tell a different tale. They show that 44% of the state is now experiencing moderate drought. That’s a dramatic leap from last week when the most recent data put that figure at just 13 percent. The Los Angeles Basin has received less than 20% of the water that’s expected, this time of year.

Los Angeles and some of its surrounding areas have experienced just one significant storm in nearly a year, and that downpour caused deadly mudslides. And now we’re seeing record-setting heat. This is bad news for some of California’s key industries, with agriculture being at the top of the list.

Farmers need lots of water to grow their crops. Water-intensive crops including lemons, tomatoes, bell peppers and asparagus, will certainly be affected, according to a article.

If water is in short supply farmers will have to cut back on their production, and that equates to higher prices for those products.

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