Amid extreme drought in California, almond crops are sucking the state dry

April 20, 2015 12:31 AM

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Amid extreme drought in California, almond crops are sucking the state dry

CALIFORNIA almonds are becoming one of the world’s favourite snacks and creating a multibillion-dollar bonanza for agricultural investors. But the crop extracts a staggering price from the land, consuming more water than all the showering, dish-washing and other indoor household water use of California’s 39 million people.

As California enters its fourth year of drought and imposes the first mandatory statewide water cutbacks on cities and towns, the $6.5 billion almond crop is helping drive a sharp debate about water use, agricultural interests and how both affect the state’s giant economy.

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