Almonds get roasted in debate over California water use

Apr 19, 2015 2:38 PM by News Staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California almonds are becoming one of the world's favorite snacks and creating a multibillion-dollar bonanza for agricultural investors. But the crop extracts a staggering price from the land.

Almonds consume more water than all the showering, dish-washing and other indoor household water use of California's 39 million people.

As the state enters its fourth year of drought, the $6.5 billion almond crop is helping drive a sharp debate about water use, agricultural interests and how both affect the giant California economy.

Almond grower Bob Weimer says almonds have claimed the spotlight as "the poster child of all things bad in water."

People around the world are eating over 1,000 percent more California almonds than they did just a decade ago. China's booming middle class is driving much of the demand.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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