National Press Club

Scientists to forecast California drought impacts through 2016 at July 15 Newsmaker

July 10, 2014 | By Dianne Saenz |

Photo/Image: NOAA

University of California scientists will update and expand their forecast of the California drought’s economic impacts on agriculture at a Newsmakers news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 15, in the club’s Zenger Room. California’s Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross will also speak at the event.

The event will be webcast live at

New data shows where the drought is hitting California growers hardest and how the state’s system of groundwater pumping threatens further losses in farm production, income and jobs in the nation’s richest agricultural state.

The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences study updates estimates of the drought’s economic effects in a previously released report on the Central Valley farm belt, presents new data on the state’s coastal and southern farm regions and projects acres fallowed, wells drying up, jobs lost and agricultural dollars lost through 2016.

The drought is likely to stretch to a fourth straight year, through 2015, if not longer, regardless of El Niño conditions.

California produces nearly half of U.S. grown fruits, nuts and vegetables and nearly a quarter of the nation’s milk and cream. Across the nation, consumers regularly buy several crops grown almost entirely in California, including tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, almonds, walnuts, grapes, olives and figs.

Speakers will include:
Richard Howitt, UC Davis professor emeritus of agricultural and natural resource economics;
Jay Lund, director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, and
Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Like all Newsmaker events, this news conference is open to all credentialed media and club members at no charge. No advance registration is required.

For more information, contact Dianne Saenz, Newsmaker event host
at, 703.362.7505 (cell) or 202.857.2370 (office)