Thursday, August 7, 2014

Drought Impacts California's Wine and Beer Industries

The drought in California is making it much harder for the state's wine and beer industries. Drought increases the costs for a wide range of businesses in California as well as in other water deprived regions of the world. Less water often translates to shortages and ultimately higher commodity prices. Some of the commodities impacted by drought include vegetable produce, meat, dairy, wine and beer.

California is the most widely regarded wine growing region in the US, however, the combination of global warming and drought could cut wine production in half within 30 years. It may also diminish the quality of the vineyards that remain. A good wine is determined in large part by the climate in which the grapes grow. As these grapes are forced to grow in warmer temperatures with less water it will impact the quality of the wines produced from them.

Beer is another favorite alcoholic beverage that is being adversely impacted by drought in California. Water is the main ingredient in beer and there is increasingly less of it to spare. The river water that breweries often use to produce beer are diminishing and groundwater is simply not as suitable for brewing as it contains heavy minerals.

The situation is dire but there are solutions to the world water crisis. Anheuser-Busch is one beer company that has shown real leadership in water stewardship and the WWF has developed a strategy that represents the kind of approach that can help us to manage our water resources more responsibly.

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