California is widely known for suffering severe water shortages due to intense droughts that plague the region, which can last several years in a row.
December was a particularly rainy month, making 2021 the wettest year since 2017 (the wettest year on record). But farmers are cautious, which is to be expected in a state that has been afflicted by constant droughts in recent decades.
Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition, indicates that the state’s most important bodies of water are now at 162% of their normal levels. And since we’re only halfway through the rainy season, which ends around the beginning of April, the chances are good that more rain will arrive.
These rains mean that the trees and plants of the San Joaquin Valley are expected to produce good yields. Cold weather in recent weeks is also a good sign, providing the cold hours necessary for many crops to germinate properly.
This excellent start to the rainy season has also recharged the aquifers, many of which were at critical levels after several years of pumping due to intense droughts in recent years. If more rain continues between January and April 2022, we could see a good recharge of these aquifers.
But we can’t forget that the water situation in California had become so dire that the state’s future water management will be decided in court. Many sectors, especially the agricultural sector, are awaiting the court’s decision.
A final point to consider is that if the rainy season in California is good, then production in 2022 will grow considerably. Historically when this happens, imports by the United States tend to fall, which means that agricultural exports from Mexico might not reach the levels predicted.