California Drought Charts

California Drought Charts

Organisation: Mother Jones (United States)

Publication Date: 06/05/2014



California, supplier of nearly half of all US fruits, veggies, and nuts, is on track to experience the driest year in the past half millennium. Farms use about 80 percent of the state's "developed water," or water that's moved from its natural source to other areas via pipes and aqueducts. The team built maps that show, much of California's agriculture is concentrated in the parts of the state that the drought has hit the hardest. For example: Monterey County, which is currently enduring an "exceptional drought," according to the US Drought Monitor, grew nearly half of America's lettuce and broccoli in 2012. When it comes to water use, not all plants are created equal. The team built graphics showing how much water some of California's major crops and dairy products require.

Technologies used for this project:

The team used data from US Drought Monitor, California Department of Food and Agriculture, the US Department of Agriculture, California Department of Water Resources, and elsewhere, to develop estimates for the amount of water needed to grow and produce popular agriculture and dairy products. They then visualized these estimates with a series of eye-catching charts and maps.
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