Can California Agriculture Survive the Drought?

Few people realize how severe the current drought in California is. Droughts are gauged by the U.S. Drought Monitor on a scale of D0 to D4:

D0 – abnormally dry
D1 – moderate drought
D2 – severe drought
D3 – extreme drought
D4 – exceptional drought

The great California drought began in January of 2012; by the end of that month, most of the state was either abnormally dry (D0) or in a moderate drought (D1). By summer 2012, large portions of the state were afflicted with severe drought (D2). By the following summer, July 2013, almost the entire state was engulfed in severe drought (D2). And toward the end of 2013, large areas advanced into extreme drought (D3). By the end of January, 2014, extreme drought (D3) encompassed most of the state, with some large areas in exceptional drought (D4).

As the year 2014 continued into late summer, areas…

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