The 2015 California Almond Acreage Report is out. Last year, while you were carrying your warm-up water out to the rose bushes, growers planted another sixty thousand acres of almonds.
California’s 2015 almond acreage is estimated at 1,110,000 acres, up 6 percent from the 2014 revised acreage of 1,050,000.
This acreage, planted in Drought Year Four, commits about 180,000 AF/year to those trees, a constant burden on groundwater basins and our political system for every one of the next twenty-five years. Had the Brown administration banned new permanent crops in basins with declining groundwater levels, that demand might be in annual crops, flexible in times of high climate variability.
I didn’t quite follow the transaction in this piece, by a guy who tried to go out and buy some water in the “water market”. Far as I can tell, because he said he’d leave it in the river, the tribe leased it to him for $1/AF. I did enjoy reading about the process.
I am not loving what I see from senatorial candidate Sanchez. I am looking forward to the water policy position papers from all the candidates, and hope that at least one of them will stake out some new ground. Now that Ted Cruz has chosen Carly Fiorina as his running mate to help him in California, I can remind you guys that Fiorina’s water policies were weak sauce.
Good luck to the students in Mr. Hollister’s Advanced Placement Environmental Science class! We’re all rooting for you! You are going to do great on the test next week.