Almond farmers in California's Central Valley, where about 80 percent of the world's supply of almonds is grown, are desperate for water. As most of the state hobbles through one of its worst droughts in history, growers are reportedly siphoning off water wherever they can get it, robbing taxpayers and the general public of a shared and increasingly scarce resource that could take many years to replenish.
Though they are fairly drought-resistant, almonds are growing in popularity all over the world. They have exceeded peanuts in the States as the consumer nut of choice, and developing nations like China are demanding them like never before. This has resulted in the conversion of more than one million acres of the Central Valley into almond orchards, more than twice the amount compared to 1996.
All these additional orchards require water, and growers are taking it from wherever they can, including from underground aquifers that take a very long time to recharge. This is putting tremendous strain on the state's general water supply, which is on the verge of disappearing. In the end, there will be no water for anyone if the great water draw continues unmitigated, warn experts.california ]