Almonds get roasted over water use

Apr 20, 2015

People around the world are eating 1,000 percent more California almonds than they did just a decade ago, and last year almonds became the top export crop in the nation's top agriculture state, reported Ellen Knickmeyer of the Associated Press. China's booming middle class is driving much of the demand.

The issue of increasing almond production is raised because of its water use. According to the story, almond orchards consume more water than the indoor use of all 39 million California residents combined.

The AP article was picked up by the Fresno Bee, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, and may other media outlets.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources advisor David Doll is featured in many of the images distributed with the story. In one he holds an almond he says is smaller than normal in size due to the drought. Doll displayed micro sprinklers, used by almond growers to conserve water, and in another photo he is seen talking with an orchard manager who uses a floating pump to bring water from the Merced River to his almond orchard.

UC Cooperative Extension hosts water supply meeting
Rich Greene, Daily News
UCCE hosts a regional meeting in Corning April 30 where local efforts to sustain water supplies will be discussed. The meeting will cover the numerous events that have occurred on the water front since September 2014. That included the passing of the Groundwater Sustainability Act and the disappointing rainfall and snowpack numbers from 2015.

Drought issues, trial studies at center of UC desert field day
Michael Dukes, Imperial Valley Press
An update on the statewide drought topped the agenda for the Agronomic Crops and Water Conservation Field Day held at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center here early Thursday morning. The event, sponsored by Imperial County's UC Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Water Resources, played out in a six-stop tour, with specialists from across the agribusiness world providing attendees with an inside look at a variety of initiatives taking place within the Valley and all over California.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist