Low-Income Communities Hit Hardest By Drought, Says Report

Jan 12, 2017

A report released this week argues the consequences of the drought have been more pronounced in some communities than others.

The analysis from the Pacific Institute and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water says water shortages, hikes in water rates and fishery declines have been concentrated in low-income and disadvantaged communities. Additionally, Laura Feinstein with the Pacific Institute says those effects extend beyond the central valley, even to typically wet areas on the North Coast and Central Coast.

"So even though we know the valley was maybe the epicenter of the drought’s impacts, it was around the state that people were feeling it," Feinstein says.

She says now is the time to be preparing for the next drought.

"We could be doing some work to start to predict what areas are going to run dry in future droughts," she says. "We could also be putting in some more drought resiliency plans now."

The report also argues for the protection of commercially fished salmon species.