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
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
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