Farmers in California have not had it easy.
But there, is another option.
The Cawelo Water District, a cooperative financed by local farmers, has spent the last 20 years buying water from oil companies – Kern County is home to 80 percent of the state’s oil production.
Abby Auffant, a spokeswoman for Chevron, explains that the company supplies farmers with water which it must separate from crude oil.
The water is filtered and then piped to a reservoir, where it’s combined with supplies from neighboring oil plants before finally being mixed with fresh water.
Chevron has a permit for this practice. The water is tested by a third party before results are sent to California authorities.
Farmers pay about $33 per acre-foot compared to up to $1,500 for the same quantity of fresh water, said David Ansolabehere, head of the water distribution cooperative.
But, environmentalists aren’t buying.