Quantcast
Climate

Remarkable Images of California's Epic Drought Show Impact on Farmers

With California experiencing the worst drought in 1,200 years, recent NASA satellite images documenting the stunning groundwater loss in California and the announcement last week that 2014 was the hottest year on record attributable to drivers of climate change, it's vitally important that the seriousness of this issue stays top of mind for people, companies and policymakers.

One award-winning photojournalist, artist and filmmaker in the Western San Joaquin Valley, Randi Lynn Beach, is doing her part by portraying the impact the drought is having on California farmers in her Westlands, A Water Story body of work.

Westlands is a series of images that shows firsthand the impact the California drought is having on farmers, the economy and the planet.

"The California’s central valley is one of the most productive food producing regions in the world. However, water policy has left farming on the west side in danger of collapsing," according to Beach. "In dry years the west side is last in line for water allocations. Recent policy has cut their allocation even further. The result is fallowed land, workers moving out of town, farms collapsing and businesses closing. The issue is much more complex than farmers versus environmentalists. It's about an antiquated water policy, a fragile ecosystem and a growing population."

Dead almond trees. Firebaugh, California. Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach

Starlings Firebaugh, California. Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach

Harvest. Huron, California. Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach

Garlic harvest. Huron, California. Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach

Tractors. San Joaquin, California. Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach

Tracks. Huron, California. Photo credit: Randi Lynn Beach

In addition to her striking images, Beach created a documentary where she interviews farmers most impacted by the drought.

Watch here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record

Fracking Makes California's Drought Worse

8 Foods That California's Drought Will Make More Costly

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals
White-tailed deer flee in a nighttime photograph. George Shiras

People Are So Annoying That Animals Are Becoming More Nocturnal

By Jason Bittel

It's official: Animals around the world are sick of our sh . . . enanigans.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Emilie Chen / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Against All Odds, Mountain Gorilla Numbers Are on the Rise

By Jason Bittel

The news coming out of East Africa's Virunga Mountains these days would have made the late (and legendary) conservationist Dian Fossey very happy. According to the most recent census, the mountain gorillas introduced to the world in Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey's book and the film about her work, have grown their ranks from 480 animals in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000. Believe it or not, this makes the mountain gorilla subspecies the only great apes known to be increasing in number.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Garlic mustard flower. Gary J. Wood / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

10 Edible Weeds Likely Growing in Your Yard

By Brian Barth

You work so hard on your vegetable garden, primping and pruning to the point of exhaustion each spring. One of the biggest chores, of course, is weeding. But in doing so, you might be throwing away valuable produce.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Pixabay

If Meditation Is Not Your Thing, Try a Walk in the Woods

By Karin Klein

There are times when I don't know what to do with myself. I feel at odds with the world, irritated by the people in it, in a funk about myself and what I'm achieving or, rather, not achieving, overwhelmed by the obstacles and complications of life. Happiness seems like an entirely elusive state of being.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights
Bill Hinton / Getty Images

Fake Grassroots Campaigns Deserve Uprooting

AstroTurf looks and feels like grass—in an all-too-perfect way. But it's not grass.

Now the well-known artificial turf's brand name has taken on a new meaning, referring to purported "grassroots" efforts that are actually funded and supported by industry and political entities.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
A photo posted by Hard to Port shows an Icelandic company having killed what some say is an endangered blue whale. Hard to Port / Facebook

Some Experts Say Icelandic Whaling Company Killed an Endangered Blue Whale

Anti-whaling group Hard to Port posted photos on their Facebook page Tuesday that activist group Sea Shepherd claims show an endangered blue whale recently killed by an Icelandic whaling company, the Australian ABC News reported Thursday.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health

Kentucky Law Could Restrict Health Care for Miners Suffering From Black Lung Disease

A Kentucky law that goes into effect Saturday could make it more difficult for miners suffering from black lung to claim federal benefits, Vice News reports.

The law mandates that only five of Kentucky's 11 pulmonologists, or lung experts, may examine miners' X-rays in benefit claims.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Yannick Croissant / CC BY 2.0

Sorry AC/DC, Rock and Roll Is Noise Pollution

By John R. Platt

It's a rare scientific paper that cites both biologist E.O. Wilson and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!