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Economic Impacts of Recent Droughts on California Agriculture

Economic Impacts of Recent Droughts on California Agriculture

Economic Impacts of Recent Droughts on California Agriculture

Economic Impacts of Recent Droughts on California Agriculture:
Lessons Learned from 2009

Dr. Josue Medllin-Azuara

University of California, Davis

May 21, 2014
Orbach Science Library, Room 240, 12:00-1:30pm

Abstract: California's asynchrony in water supply and demand in space and time poses challenges to allocate water among agricultural, urban and environmental water uses. Multi-year droughts have occurred over decadal and geological time scales. Since the establishment of modern irrigated agriculture reduced surface water availability for irrigation during has been often replaced with groundwater. This swing resource may not be as available in the future, as continued overdraft of the Central Valley aquifers is causing subsidence, increased pumping costs and loss of existing pumping capacity among other issue. A decrease in overall water availability during droughts is likely to affect the agricultural landscape. Adaptation to minimize economic costs of drought might occur at various margins: irrigated crop area, applied water and cropping pattern. We explore these margins under multi-year drought scenarios for the California's Central Valley accounting for various groundwater replacement schemes. Multiplier effects on the region's economy are examined.

About the Presenter: Josue Medellin is a Staff Researcher at the Center for Watershed Sciences of UC Davis. His areas of expertise include hydro-economic modeling, region-wide economic impact analysis, water recycling and remote sensing for estimating agricultural consumptive use. His professional experience includes project and environmental management positions for industry and consulting for nongovernmental organizations such as the Natural Heritage Institute, the Stockholm Environment Institute, El Colegio de Mexico, The Nature conservancy and the World Bank on water resources. Josue holds an undergraduate degree in engineering and graduate degrees in business and economics. He obtained his Ph.D. in Ecology from UC Davis in 2006 with his dissertation on hydro-economics of restoration in the Colorado River Delta in Mexico.

Light refreshments will be served.



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