A possible megadrought across the western U.S. could get even worse

With the official start of summer just a few days away

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With the official start of summer just a few days away, scientists say a megadrought across the western U.S. could get even worse.

With the official start of summer just a few days away scientists say a megadrought across the western U.S. could get even worse. Some farmers already have had their water sources, cut off and the drought, which leaves more fields fallow, is also fueling devastating, historic wildfires.

Mike Valerio explains.

Richard Bianchi

Director of Farm Operations, Sábor Farms

As scarce water showers shades of gold across browning fields, the predictions are dire.

Richard Bianchi, Director of Farm Operations, Sábor Farms: “It’s scary to think that we may not be able to do this, because we don’t have the water to do it.”

Richard Bianchi is a fourth-generation farmer here in Hollister, California.

His fields, farm, and family, are now facing the U.S. megadrought, which scientists say, is the worst western dry spell, in 1,200 years.

More than 90 percent of the west, is in drought and Bianchi’s most reliable water source, is now, shut off.

“So, to be clear, Richard, you’re getting no water, zero percent, from your best water source?”

Richard Bianchi, Director of Farm Operations, Sábor farms: “correct.”

“What are the biggest impacts? How would you explain that to somebody outside of Hollister?”

Richard Bianchi, Director of Farm Operations, Sábor Farms: “It’s limiting the amount of ground that we can farm. It’s limiting the intensity that we can farm.”

Bianchi has no choice, but to pump lower-quality groundwater into his fields and he’s not sure how long that’ll last.

Less water, limits the crops he can grow. He tells us, and that reduces our choices at the grocery store.

Economists say, less supply, pushes prices, even higher. more pain, on top of sky-high inflation.

The drought leaves fields fallow and scientists say, fuels historic infernos.

Mike Valerio, Reporter

“Climate science connects deepening droughts with dried up earth all around us to longer, more severe wildfire seasons. In fact, the fires in New Mexico started much earlier this year then in years’ past. and right now, it’s only spring.”

Federal officials tell us the nightmare is already here, up to three quarters of northern California’s farming fields could stay fallow, growing nothing this summer.

For Bianchi, whether there’s a future for a fifth generation of his family farmers, is now in doubt.

Richard Bianchi, Director of Farm Operations, Sábor Farms: “Are we gonna have water in two, three years out of our aquifer? Nobody can say that.”

In Hollister, California, I’m Mike Valerio reporting.