Modesto, CA — Nestle America has announced plans to grow Almonds in the drought-stricken California Central Valley. The plan, which calls for snatching up land from farmers who have allowed their fields to go fallow, includes the purchase of over 6000 acres of usable land. The multinational food corporation plans on using its delivery contracts not only to fill its plastic water bottles, but also to feed the water-hungry almond trees.
“Nestle has an abundant amount of water,” announced Nestle Public Relation spokeswoman Bethany Millbright, “and due to our aggressive contract negotiations and our innovative prisoner harvesting program, we have more than enough for our bottling operations and we can pick up the slack in the almond growing business.”
In an average year, about 80% of California’s water consumption is used for agricultural and environmental purposes. This water irrigates almost 29 million acres (120,000 km2), which grows 350 different crops.
Agricultural water usage varies depending on the amount of rainfall each year according to the State water project. California Governor Jerry Brown recently mandated that citizens reduce water consumption by 25%. These restrictions did not apply to agriculture and companies like Nestle who tap both regional aquifers and municipal water supplies.
Not everyone is happy with Nestle’s seemingly unchallenged water use.
“What we should be focusing on,” said Nevada City, CA community organizer Saihra Ramun, “is why Nestle is allowed to do anything like this in the first place. Not to mention the stupidity of growing water-hogging almonds and other wasteful crops.”
According to Nestle, the new line of business makes complete sense and will fit perfectly in its food portfolio.
“Nestle already makes the foods people love,” continued Ms. Millbright. “We believe that adding almond growing and production to our business line makes a lot of sense. We obviously understand how to manage California’s water better than your average farmer.”