A Short Lesson in California Droughts
California, home to Driscoll's headquarters, is the world's fifth-largest supplier of food. Its warm climate and seasonal rainfall allows it to grow
43% of the fruits, nuts and vegetables in the United States.
Many of California's crops rely on irrigation which is supplied via groundwater wells or through surface water delivery systems.
In 2015, the state of California declared that the current drought was the driest period in the state's 163 years of recorded rainfall. This dry period has been marked by low snow pack, and low reservoir levels. As a result, farmers reduced growing acreage throughout the state based on their ability to irrigate crops.
Saltwater Intrusion: A Side Effect of Over-Pumping Our AquifersAquifers* close to the coast are at a greater risk of being contaminated by seawater. When more freshwater is pumped from a coastal aquifer than is replenished from rainfall, the force of the ocean causes saltwater to flow underground and further inland. Saltwater mixed into an aquifer's supply causes major water quality problems, and can quickly compromise millions of gallons of fresh water. Reconciling how much we pump from our regional aquifers with how much fresh water is replenished will mitigate saltwater impacts to coastal aquifers.
* Aquifers are underground rock, sediment or soil that contain groundwater. They can be accessed by wells, springs, or above-ground pumping stations.
Our Commitment to Groundwater
As the state of California reconciles the responsibility of feeding so many people in the world while understanding the limitations of its natural resources; we at Driscoll's are looking for ways to do our part. We understand that broad-based community representation and involvement is needed to ensure that we are pursuing diverse strategies to bring our aquifers into balance. We believe that there is no "one size fits all" solution and we recognize that producing viable solutions will take shared sacrifice and a shared commitment.