If you accept the premise that California is a desert, it will inevitably follow that little to no food should be grown here. Common sense dictates that agriculture does not belong in a place with no water.
But California is not a desert. It includes desert, but it includes other areas as well, including areas that traditionally have an abundance of water. It includes regions that are self-sufficient in water, even if that water is precious. Any discussion of the drought that proceeds from the premise that “California is a desert” is not sufficiently grounded in the realities of California.
Our state is a large one with a tremendous mix of agricultural crops, water resources, and local climates. As the current crisis has made clear, aligning our crops with the necessary water and amenable microclimates is a work in progress… just as aligning water use with lifestyle, landscaping, and recreation is unfinished business in our cities.
But please… let’s be clear that most regions of this state, particularly the areas most important for both housing and agriculture, are not in the desert.