October 2, 2016--California's almond boom has ramped up water use, consumed wetlands and stressed pollinators (Science Daily)

A new study using aerial imagery across the state of California has found that converting land to grow almonds between 2007 and 2014 has led to a 27% annual increase in irrigation demands -- despite the state's historic drought. The expansion of almonds has also consumed 16,000 acres of wetlands and will likely put additional pressure on already stressed honeybee populations. The conversion of lands to almond orchards was sparked by a rapid growth in demand and rising almond prices. Consumption of almonds has jumped 200% since 2005 and almond prices rose from about a dollar per pound in 2000 to a peak of around $5 per pound in 2014 according to the study's author. To view the full article visit the Science Daily.