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California agriculture: It's worth the water
California agriculture: It's worth the water

Pundits here in drought-stricken California have become fond of proclaiming that farms consume 80% of the state's water and generate only about 2% of its gross domestic product. "Why devote so much of our water to an industry that contributes so little fuel to our economic engine?" they ask. Both of those figures are deceptive. It's only possible to arrive at 80% by not accounting for the amount of water dedicated to environmental uses. (For example, the water in rivers that flows into the sea.) And the 2% figure grossly undersells the importance of food grown in California. California's economy is incredibly diverse, much like its topography, its climate and its...

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