Quantcast

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

Climate

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Elva Etienne / Moment / Getty Images

By Ketura Persellin

Gift-giving is filled with minefields, but the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) got your back, so you don't need to worry about inadvertently giving family members presents laden with toxic chemicals. With that in mind, here are our suggestions for gifts to give your family this season.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Cheri Bantilan MS, RD, CD

Garlic is an ingredient that provides great flavor to dishes and can be found in most kitchens across the globe.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Claire O'Connor

Agriculture is on the front lines of climate change. Whether it's the a seven-year drought drying up fields in California, the devastating Midwest flooding in 2019, or hurricane after hurricane hitting the Eastern Shore, agriculture and rural communities are already feeling the effects of a changing climate. Scientists expect climate change to make these extreme weather events both more frequent and more intense in coming years.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Echinacea is a group of flowering plants that belong to the daisy family, along with plants like sunflowers, chicory, chamomile, and chrysanthemums.

Read More Show Less
One of the 25 new Long Beach Transit hybrid gasoline-electric buses on April 23, 2009. Jeff Gritchen / Digital First Media / Orange County Register / Getty Images

In Long Beach, California, some electric buses can charge along their route without cords or wires.

When a bus reaches the Pine Avenue station, it parks over a special charging pad. While passengers get on and off, the charger transfers energy to a receiver on the bottom of the bus.

Read More Show Less