California's drought isn't just turning green lawns brown or #droughtshaming into a trending topic. It's taking a multi-billion dollar toll on the state's agricultural industry as well.
The University of California, Davis is out with a new report, and some of the numbers are steep. The study found that in 2015 alone, the drought will cost the state's farmers industry $2.7 billion dollars and more than 18,000 jobs, with 564,000 acres fallowed.
And that's just for one year. "This study does not address long-term costs of groundwater overdraft, such as higher pumping costs and greater water scarcity," it reads. "The socioeconomic impacts of an extended drought, in 2016 and beyond, could be much more severe."
But Richard Howitt, a professor emeritus at UC Davis, and one of the authors of the study, says the situation for farmers could be worse.
"Despite really big cuts — 60 percent in the surface water supplies — access to underground water has allowed [farmers] to compensate for at least 70 percent of that," Howitt tells The Salt. "So the net cut is around 8 percent of total water."