California could lose jobs, food production due to water cuts, study finds

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A first-of-its-kind study found that thousands of California jobs could be lost due to water cuts, and it's only one of other consequences.

A first-of-its-kind study found that thousands of California jobs could be lost due to water cuts, and it's only one of other consequences.

A UC Berkeley professor and Southern California Water committee executive director, Charles Wilson, unveiled the findings of his study, "Human Impacts of California's Water Cuts."

"For better or for worse, the regulations put in place really are allowing water to be wasted," he said.

The study shows that the state could lose more than 21,000 jobs every year for the next 30 years as a result of continuous water cuts.

According to the report, there are other wide-reaching affects including loss of farmland and farmworker jobs, costs to urban communities and shrinking food production.

"As we all know, it's not just about farmworkers. It's about the food we grow, farmworkers, those that then bring the food into market, all the way down to grocery stores - clerks," Wilson said.

The study also found that the cuts are costing urban communities $5 billion already and $10 billion over the next 30 years.

Wilson said California's recent rainfall doesn't mean residents are out of the woods.

"It's a one-time anomaly. We're coming out of six years of devastating drought like we've never seen in California before. One year does not solve our issue. It's got to be about how do you fix long term the state's delivery system? How do you store it? How do you use it? How do you become more efficient?" he said.

He said there isn't just one answer, but rather multiple solutions need to be explored including storm water capture and desalination.
Related Topics:
businesseconomydroughtcalifornia waterwater conservationjobsfoodstudyrainCalifornia
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