One gallon of water for every nut harvested/consumed-counter arguments from growers try to explain it away but no matter how we try to justify the growth/reach of this form of mono-culture tree farming-we’re doing it all wrong. Industrial agriculture in California has been facing one crisis after another for more than a decade. Water battles between cities and rural farming areas has escalated as populations in cities increases and new mega-farms spring up across the Central Valley.
The popularity of almonds with consumers has grown exponentially over the last few years. From the “milk” now sold on store shelves of large and small outlets to promotion by nutritionists citing it as a super food, supply has grown to meet the demand. Almond plantations began replacing conventional vegetable production as farmers try to cash in on the newest demands from the market. And at almost the same time severe drought hit the greater part of the state.”California’s drought-stricken Central Valley churns out 80 percent of the globe’s almonds, and since each nut takes a gallon of water to produce, they account for close to 10 percent of the state’s annual agricultural water use—or more than what the entire population of Los Angeles and San Francisco use in a year.” (New Republic)