How California's drought will change your diet

(photo: Ann Filmer / UC Davis)
(photo: Ann Filmer / UC Davis)

Prof. Dan Sumner weighs in on the potential drought impacts.

February 20, 2014
(from Prevention)

California produces nearly half of all U.S.-grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The dwindling water supply is putting the state’s agriculture industry at risk. Last month, Governor Brown declared a drought state of emergency.

“This is the worst single-year drought on record,” says Dr. Daniel Sumner, professor of agricultural and resource economics, and director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis. “We’ll need 3 to 4 years of above-normal rainfall to get back [to normal],” he says.

Farmers and farming communities are already feeling the drought’s economic impact. However, we’re not doomed for food shortages yet.  Experts can’t yet predict exactly what would happen should the drought continue.

“It’s really serious and is having a severe impact on a lot of people. But it’s not impacting national and international food markets,” Dr. Sumner says. However, if the state doesn't get a lot of precipitation be prepared for more expensive produce.

(Read the full article, by Marygrace Taylor, Feb. 2014, Prevention magazine,

Media contact:

  • Dan Sumner, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis, 530-752-1668,


College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, contact: