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Clarifications on estimates of irrigated cropland idled due to 2016 California drought

On August 15, a team from UC Davis, ERA Economics and the UC Agricultural Issues Center released an economic impact report related to the California drought of 2016.

Several commentaries have indicated that land fallowing in the summer of 2016 exceeds the approximately 80 thousand acres in the 2016 drought report. Therefore, this short “supplement” provides additional details and clarification on how we estimated the impact of the 2016 drought on land idling as opposed to other causes of water shortages in 2016. (The same clarification applies to jobs and other economic aggregates.)

Heavy Water Users in California Could Face Penalties, $500 Fines If Drought Persists

Locked in a multi-year drought, California’s urban water suppliers have, for the most part, happily enforced rules that prohibit specific wasteful water practices, such as hosing down driveways and over-watering lawns.

But far fewer agencies have been willing to go beyond state mandates and penalize customers simply for using profligate volumes of water. The names of those heavy users have been mostly kept secret under California public records law. That’s about to change.