BIG Almonds, Little Water: The Quickie Guide to California’s Drought

BIG Almonds, Little Water: The Quickie Guide to California’s Drought

Let’s talk briefly about water versus almonds.

A big bag of M&M Almonds, just shy of 16 ounces. At approximately 8 almonds per ounce, that comes to about 128 almonds in the bag. Almond production –almost all of which is from California — takes about one GALLON of water per EVERY single almond, or about 128 GALLONS of water for this one bag. (That equals about 64 gallon jugs of Nestles bottled water for each 16 ounce bag of nuts..) And estimates are that almond production ALONE makes up ten percent of ALL California water use — that’s about 3.8 BILLION gallons of water EVERY DAY, 365 days a year. And Besides BIG Almonds, BIG Agriculture accounts for 80 percent of ALL water use in California — about One TRILLION-Gallons PLUS per year.

A Gallon of Nestle Bottled Water — 128 ounces. It takes about Two gallons of water — 256 ounces– to make it. In California, all bottled water uses about 0.00001% of the state’s water. (That’s a vanishingly tiny amount; about one 50,000th of a percent. Figures are approximate.)

Conclusion: Freaking out about bottled water in California’s drought is like putting a super-mini-nano-sized cart (so small you can’t even see it) before a monstrous sized trojan horse made of almonds and other mass agricultural products that’s bigger than all the mountains in Yosemite.

Yeah, kind of like that. Just a whole lot wetter.

Maybe it FEELS better to beat up on bottled water in California. But to make real CHANGE in the state’s actual water use, much bigger and tougher industries will have to be confronted and changed. 

Will that be easy? Nope. Fast? Unlikely. Painless? Forget it. 
But there it is.

PS. swimming pools and golf courses don’t amount to all that much water use either. Piddly.

Equals a dozen gallons of Nestle Water . . . . .

PPS. And I LIKE almonds. (Sigh.)

One thought on “BIG Almonds, Little Water: The Quickie Guide to California’s Drought”

  1. Friend Chuck, either you have a slight miscalculation, or Nestle’s has solved the crisis by figuring out how to get two gallons of water in a one gallon bottle. Unless, somehow the second gallon is used to manufacture the plastic jug, process the first water in the jug, loss in transport and getting the jug to market and home? Oo is it implying three gallons, one to ” make it” and the gallon in the jug? Then there is the non-almond water usage in processing the chocolate and the remains water usage for the candy Just saying. Oh, and I am allergic to almonds.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.