Almonds- A Thirsty But Necessary Food
California is the most productive agricultural state in the United States, leading the country in the production of over a dozen different crops- including almonds, pistachios, and walnuts.
As of April 2015, 3/4 of California is considered to be in an exceptional drought, according to the USDA and National Oceanis and Atmospheric Administration.
Agriculture accounts for 80% of California’s total water output. That number doesn’t seem to be shrinking. Farmers are now faced with choosing to grow crops that provide the most value to the state’s economy and almonds are one of those crops.
Almonds are a popular but thirsty crop- it takes 1 gallon of water to grow 1 almond.
Almonds use between 8-13% of the total water available for agriculture.
But Almonds are a key component of California’s economy. They brought in about $21 billion in gross revenue and contributed $11 billion to the California economy. In 2014, the almond industry generated roughly 15% of California’s total farming value and 25% of California’s agricultural exports.
The almond industry added 104,000 jobs to the California in 2014.
-21,000 direct farm jobs
-68,000 farm-related jobs
-36,000 processing and manufacturing jobs