Dehydrated: What Water Cuts Mean for Consumers

The state of California declared a state of emergency for water last week with Governor Jerry Brown announcing water restrictions. A mandated 25% cut in water usage is now in effect due to drought conditions in the past two years and a low snow pack over the winter months. This directly affects Californians, but what effect do these restrictions hold for consumers in the greater United States?

The mandate is expected to affect agriculture, businesses, and residents alike. Food prices across the United States are expected to rise; California is the country’s largest producer of grapes, spinach, olives, avocados, and tree nuts. Strict limitations on outdoor irrigation and pressure to reuse water are in effect. Experts predict the drought could last up to a decade, putting the California Agriculture industry at risk for significant disruption.

Governor Brown of California elaborates,

People should realize we’re in a new era.… The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past. We’re not going to change things overnight but we are in a transition period. People have to realize that in many parts of California, they are living in a desert.

The state has prepared to deal with water restrictions with a $7.5 billion water bond, a drought task force, and a comprehensive water action plan. With a year’s supply left in the state’s reservoirs, effects on the residents of California and consumer wallets across the nation will continue.

Read More – Governor Brown Directs First Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Reductions (California.Gov, Press)

Statistics- California Water Data

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Ethica Burt works with CR as a Marketing Fellow. She is in her final semester as an undergraduate of George Washington University where she studies International Business and Sustainability. As a fellow she focuses on researching consumer issues whilst also bringing awareness to the organization as a whole.


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