With weather conditions as they are, a whole new way of thinking about water use is necessary, said Wayne Tucker, founder of BIO S.I. Technology, which makes microbial soil inoculants that help increase the efficiency of water and nutrients used in agriculture.
"Instead of planting 5,000 acres of a crop that could use thousands of gallons of water, we need to consider reducing the acreage to something like 2,000 acres of this crop, or plant crops that use less water," argued Tucker. "We're not getting the sufficient rainfall we need to keep doing what we have been doing."
Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and an environmental researcher said it will take more than just shorter showers to help the situation.
"We have to look at all kinds of methods to save and produce water, like desalination as expensive as that is, and reusing waste water," she said.
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Preparation for drought conditions is key, said Euler Hermes' Sheikh.That means bigger reservoirs for storing water when it rains so there's enough to go around during dry spells, he said.
An online wine-selling outlet, NakedWines.com, said it's helping wine growers in California with its own relief efforts. CEO Rowan Gormley explained that NakedWines, which uses crowdfunding from its customers to invest in wineries, allows those wineries to switch to producing other wines that aren't threatened by the drought.
The online outlet has also invested in wineries that have their own water sources. But the company's efforts don't help everyone—Gromley noted that it's primarily premium wines whose growers have sufficient water, whereas the drought is a bigger concern for "entry-level wines sourced out of the Central Valley of California." NakedWines doesn't focus on those areas.