California Almonds: Water Footprint Smaller than Global Average

Photo: David Doll, University of California, Davis

New research published in the Journal of Ecological Indicators has found that the water footprint of almonds grown in California is smaller than a global average originally reported.

The study also reaffirms that growing almonds is a good use of water. According to study author and University of California, Davis researcher Fraser Shilling, “The study illustrates a balancing act. It’s not just that almonds use water, but that there are benefits you get with that use of water.”

To that end, the research found that almonds rank among the most valuable foods grown in California in terms of the dietary and economic benefits for the water needed to produce them.

In general, plants require more energy, and thus water, to grow proteins and fats than carbohydrates and sugars. So, while almonds and other nuts grown in California need more water per serving than most fruits and vegetables, they are also rich in essential nutrients, good fats and protein, which contribute to their popularity as a healthy, satisfying and heart-smart snack.

“Growing our knowledge base around essential issues like water is core to the California almond community’s sustainability journey and key to responsible farming,” said Richard Waycott, Almond Board of California (ABC) President and CEO. “Primarily, this research helps us better understand the water footprint of California almonds and opportunities for further

The Latest