FIREBAUGH, Calif. (AP) — A deepening drought threatens California’s $6 billion almond industry, which produces about 80% of the world’s almonds.
As water becomes scarce and expensive, some growers have stopped irrigating their orchards and plan to tear them out years earlier than planned.
After decades of expansion in California's agricultural Central Valley, almond production is expected to decline.
That could lead to higher prices for consumers who have embraced the popular nut.
As the drought drains reservoirs and forces restrictions on water use, critics say the thirsty crop isn’t sustainable at current levels in California.
The state is becoming hotter and drier because of climate change.