American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) | November 17th, 2016
Scientists designed the ARkStorm scenario to challenge the preparedness of California communities for widespread flooding with a historical precedence and increased l
Scientists designed the ARkStorm scenario to challenge the preparedness of California communities for widespread flooding with a historical precedence and increased likelihood under climate change. California is an important provider of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other agricultural products to the nation. This study analyzes the agricultural damages and losses pertaining to annual crops, perennial crops, and livestock in California exposed to ARkStorm flooding. Statewide, flood damage is incurred on approximately 23% of annual crop acreage, 5% of perennial crop acreage, and 5% of livestock, e.g., dairy, feedlot, and poultry, acreage. The sum of field repair costs, forgone income, and product replacement costs span $3.7 and $7.1 billion (2009) for a range of inundation durations. Perennial crop loss estimates dominate, and the vulnerability of orchards and vineyards has likely increased with recent expansion. Crop reestablishment delays from levee repair and dewatering more than double annual crop losses in the delta islands, assuming the fragile system does not remain permanently flooded. The exposure of almost 200,000 dairy cows to ARkStorm flooding poses livestock evacuation challenges.