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Critical winter for California agriculture

CNBC posted a story about the upcoming winter and the prospects for rain in California.  After three winters with little rainfall, most of the state is in exceptional drought.  Farmers and communities have been able to use groundwater to some extent to make up for the missing rainfall, but groundwater levels are now dropping rapidly as underground supplies are depleted.  California is counting on a wet winter to help refill reservoirs and take some of the pressure off groundwater pumping.  If they don’t get much rain or snow for a fourth winter in a row, however, agricultural producers may have to make some tough choices about what to plant or grow.  You can read the story here.

Follow-up: My colleague Marshall Shepherd, a professor in the UGA Geography Department, posted this picture of the changes in water storage from NASA’s unique GRACE satellite:

California drying