Drought: California farms destroy crops rather than pay for water

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Photo: Stuart Woolf stands near piles of almond tree wood chips that will get spread out on the his ranch. Caroline Champlin

When Stuart Woolf was growing up on his dad’s ranch in Huron, California, he never liked working the tomato harvest.

“I thought, ‘I am never going to do this.’ Everything was kind of wet, hot and stinky,” Woolf said.

These days, though, now as president of the 20,000-acre … [more…]

Almond Farms Keep Growing, Keep Moving on Water Conservation

photo: orchard flooded with stormwater to help recharge the aquifer. Almond Farms Keep Growing, and Keep Moving on Water Conservation

Modesto farmer Nick Blom stands in his 5-acre almond orchard intentionally flooded with stormwater as an experiment to restore the depleted aquifer in January 2016. This is one of many measures the almond industry is taking to restore and conserve water. Photo by Paul Kitagaki Jr., The Sacramento Bee

California grows 80 percent of the world’s almonds, generating $11 billion annually for the state’s economy. Richard Waycott of the Almond

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California’s Looming Water Pollution Problem, Produced Water

photo: Tom Frantz standing in standing groundwater in a grove of almond tress. California's Looming Water Pollution Problem: produced water

Tom Frantz on his almond grove in Shafter, California. (Photo: Jonas Jungblut)

In California’s Central Valley, the oil industry has been dumping wastewater into unlined—and under-regulated—ponds, threatening the state’s limited groundwater and the humans who rely on it.

In the winter of 2001, Tom Frantz and a friend were cruising in his pick-up truck along a stretch of Highway 33 in Kern County, California. Known as the Petroleum Highway, this … [more…]