The study was conducted by U-O-P’s Business Forecasting Center. It found the combination of drought, and the reduction of water pumped from the Delta region, have resulted in losses of 6,000 jobs in the San Joaquin Valley that would have generated $170 million in worker compensation. On the other hand, the report finds that foreclosures this year have cost the Valley 47,000 construction jobs with wages and benefits totaling nearly $2 billion.
Report author Jeffrey Michael claims previous reports exaggerated the economic impact of the water crisis. He says officials need to keep their focus on residents who may lose their homes.
Michael: "I don’t think enough is being done. We need to get much more aggressive with mortgage modifications to stem off preventable foreclosures."
Some farmers are taking issue with the report. The claim the ripple effect from the water crisis has had a much greater impact on the economy than is reflected in the university study.