The Modesto Bee
The cumulative impact of rapidly expanding almond orchards in eastern Stanislaus County soon may create a massive drain on the region’s groundwater supply.
An estimated 4 million newly planted trees are expected to start consuming as much water as 480,000 people.
That’s roughly the population of Sacramento, and more than twice the population of Modesto.
This city of thirsty trees has taken root virtually unregulated on what had been dry grazing land along the county’s far eastern and northeastern edge.