Current predictions are that California will receive roughly the same amount of precipitation in coming years, with less snow. This is not good news, unless policymakers can find a way to adapt California’s water infrastructure. As snowpack in the mountains melts, it gradually releases water that the current infrastructure captures and redistributes during the dry summers. This accounts for about 30 percent of California’s water. “If snowpack becomes less reliable, then all Californians – both farmers and nonfarmers – will need to adapt and invest in new infrastructure, additional conservation, new ways of storing water to capture more of the rainfall in the winter for use during the dry season,” said Gabriele Ludwig, plant physiologist and director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs for the Almond Board of California. One way to capture rainfall is to store it as groundwater. In 2016, the Almond Board launched a project to assess whether and where almond orchards can be used for groundwater recharge when rivers are running high. The Central Valley could store water below ground if practical ways can be found to: Get available water onto ground suitable for recharge; Avoid hurting present crops; Avoid hurting groundwater quality. “We are also trying to understand the opportunities to recycle water from multiple sources, such as municipal wastewater,” Ludwig said.
About the Almond Board
Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 almond growers and processors in California, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit Almonds.com or check out California Almonds on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and the California Almonds blog.