pouring, actually. and thank goodness it is--california is still in the middle of a severe drought. so severe that our federal water managers voted on this past friday to cut off water to thousands of california farms. yikes.
california is the top agricultural state in the country, producing over half of north america's fruits, nuts and veggies (no wonder our farmer's markets are so good!). products grown exclusively in california (over 99%) include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwi, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts. 83% of the nation's strawberries are grown here, and 65% of peaches. on our way home from santa barbara last week, we passed by miles and miles of newly planted lettuces, all just starting to peek through the rich californian sod.
this drought could "cause an estimated $1.15 billion loss in agriculture-related wages and eliminate as many as 40,000 jobs in farm-related industries in the San Joaquin Valley alone, where most of the nation's produce and nut crops are grown." not good news. you might recall previous posts where i've mentioned our mandatory water restrictions. each household in our water district has been instructed to lower consumption by 20%. we've done as much as we can--efforts include changing our diaper washing routine, letting unloved parts of our landscaping die, washing clothes only when we've got a super full load, letting "yellow mellow," not rinsing dishes before placing them into the dishwasher (okay, i never did this anyway), and yes, even taking some shorter showers (with a low-flow showerhead, of course!). still, without much-needed rain, the situation has only gotten worse. and while we've all enjoyed recent springlike days with temperatures into the mid-seventies, worries about water have become very real. especially with the new decision facing our farmers: grow less crops with more water per square foot, or attmept to grow more crops with less water per square foot. one thing is for certain: if this cutoff does indeed go though, there's no doubt that price increases will be passed on to consumers around the nation.
today's downpour also gave me the rare chance to wear my baby blue wellies, and to use my pink & white striped umbrella, which lucy happens to love (me too). good stuff.
so hope for continued rain. without landslides and flooding, of course.