Climate Change In California Is Threatening The World's Top Almond Producer
A historic drought across the U.S. West is taking a heavy toll on California's $6 billion almond industry, which produces roughly 80% of the world's almonds. More growers are expected to abandon their orchards as water becomes scarce and expensive. Almonds are California's top agricultural export. The industry ships about 70% of its almonds overseas, fueled by strong demand in India, East Asia and Europe, according to the board. "All of this increase in almonds and this increase in water demand, it's been done at a time when there's virtually no increase in water supply," said David Goldhamer, a water management specialist at the University of California, Davis. "The water embodied in the production of those almonds is being exported out of this country."