Agriculture uses approximately 70% of the world’s freshwater supply, and water managers are under mounting pressure to produce more food and fibre for a growing population while also reducing water waste and pollution and responding to a changing climate. In light of these challenges, more farmers are adopting innovative water management strategies, such as innovative irrigation systems and scheduling and methods to improve soil health. The Pacific Institute conducts research and works with innovative agricultural partners to identify and scale strategies to improve water management and ensure a vibrant agricultural system and global food security.

Impacts of California’s Ongoing Drought: Agriculture

Published: August 2015


In 2015, California was in the midst of the most severe drought in nearly 120 years of instrumental record, with far-reaching effects in the state. This report examines the impacts of the drought on California’s agricultural sector through 2014.

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Water Risk Hotspots for Agriculture: The Case of the Southwest United States

Published: September 2016


Despite being the United States’ most arid region, the US Southwest – Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah – is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Yet nearly 75% of total cropland in the region, and an even higher percentage of total agricultural productivity, depends on supplemental irrigation.

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California Farm Water Success Stories

Published: March 2010


California’s agricultural industry is a lynchpin of the state’s economy. But the effects of climate change, as well as pressures such as population growth, have significant impacts on water supply, raising concerns about water management in the agricultural sector. This series of case studies and interviews describes the practices of innovative California farm water managers.

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Oil, Food, and Water: Challenges and Opportunities for California Agriculture

Published: December 2015


Oil, gas, and agriculture are all central to California’s economy. Yet the extent of harmful chemical contamination from the oil and gas industry on food production is not well documented, and there are mounting concerns over human health impacts. This study sheds light on the risks posed when oil and gas production and exploration operate alongside agriculture.

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