SACRAMENTO - The California drought is hitting many people hard and its impact will be felt from farm to fork.
Federal officials said many farmers caught in California's drought will receive no irrigation water this year from a vast system of rivers, canals and reservoirs interlacing the state. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday it will continue to monitor rain and snowfall, but at this point there's not enough water in the Central Valley Project to give water to farmers.
The impact of the state's water crisis will show up soon at your local supermarket. Experts said the lack of water means your grocery bill is going to go up ... a lot. For every $100 you spend, expect to pay an extra $10 to $15 at checkout.
It's grim news for farmers. Last year, Central Valley farmers got 20 percent of their normal water allowance. They won't be receiving any water from the federal government this year. That means many growers will leave their fields unplanted.
"We also have lettuce that typically would be in the ground right now. That wasn't planted," Gayle Holman with Westlands Water District in Fresno explained. "And we also have melons. We're used to having an abundance of cantaloupe and watermelon and quite frankly that won't be available to the consumer."
Many consumers will see the costs passed along to them.
Phil Lempert who monitors national food trends said, "If you are spending 40 bucks and it's a wide assortment of fruits, vegetables, beef and poultry, it's going to go up 10 to 15 percent in the short term."
Lempert added that shoppers should expect their grocery bill to go up bit by bit over the next year or so.
As for beef, higher feed prices and thinner herds will push prices up more dramatically as we get closer to summer.
"It's all a rollover thing," Blue Ribbon Butcher Shop in Reno Manager Steve Cartinella said. "Whatever happens now is going to have an effect on us in about 2 months."
"Here in California, we should also be counting on fruits, nuts, everything going up" shopper Maureen Weston said.