Water wars: The Navy vs. pistachio farmers
One could argue that planting pistachio farms in the middle of the desert is not the best idea. Nut trees are notoriously thirsty; deserts are notoriously dry. Nevertheless, California’s Indian Wells Valley is now home to more than 100,000 pistachio trees. The expansion of nut farms in the area has stressed the water supply and stirred tensions between farmers and the U.S. Navy, which operates a large base nearby. As writer Brent Crane notes for Bloomberg and the Food and Environment Reporting Network, farmers in California usually win water disputes. But the Navy may prove a formidable adversary—and the skirmish offers a preview of California’s future as residents and industry struggle to adapt to a changing climate.