They’re Using Our Resources for Free, No One Noticed

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water

Saudi Arabia has been pumping a whole lot of water from the Arizona desert at a really sweet price. Nobody noticed as it was happening but now that the Colorado River is down to a trickle, everyone is scrambling to plug the leaks. That’s how they discovered the Arabs seem to have their own straw. On the upside, their farm animals were a whole lot happier than the ones in Kansas, this summer, despite the desert heat. The Saudis running the farms provide all the equipment to do the job right.

Fighting Arabs for water

In the desert, water is precious. When life is at stake it’s a whole lot more precious than gold or oil. The Colorado River provides the biggest supply, serving the entire state of Arizona. They split what comes down from above with California, then any dregs left go to Mexico.

The stuff coming from the household tap is only a small fraction of what gets used. The lions share goes to agriculture. While California produces all the winter vegetables, Arizona raises alfalfa for Saudi Arabian animal feed. At a smoking profit.

Since 2014, Saudi company Fondomonte “added eight new wells, increasing production to new heights and even leading to accusations of over-pumping.” Water wells. They have been sucking every drop of groundwater they can squeeze from the desert west of Phoenix.

They use it “to harvest thousands of acres of alfalfa crops. The alfalfa is then shipped back to Saudi Arabia to feed their cattle.

Local reporters sniffed a scandal and did an investigation. It revealed that “Fondomonte, a subsidiary of Riyadh-based Almarai, has the bargain of a lifetime.” They get to pump as much as they want. For “only $25 per acre annually.” Local farmers are outraged because they get shafted paying “six times more than the Saudi company.

Both candidates for governor are using the deal as a campaign plank. Democrat Katie Hobbs wants to hoard every drop for Arizona. “Our water should be for Arizonans, not for sweetheart deals to foreign corporations to grow crops to then send back to their country.” Republican Kari Lake agrees and takes it further, going after Fondomonte directly. She wants to look into terminating their lease and “examine all existing leases to ensure Arizona’s water and natural resources primarily benefit Arizonans, not overseas corporations.

depleting the groundwater

Fondomonte isn’t the only foreign interest “taking advantage of this fire sale on precious water resources in rural Arizona.” Other UAE affiliated alfalfa farms and “plenty of domestic companies” are pirating dihydrogen monoxide supplies.

Fondomonte does happen to be the most controversial because “it is actually depleting the groundwater of the Butler Valley, a valuable transfer basin that is seen as a potential water supply for Phoenix.

Fondomonte owns thousands of acres across Arizona and has expanded operations in Eastern California. They were buying up land across the Southwest for alfalfa production for a long, long time.

The Arizona State Land Department is ducking calls from reporters. They refuse “to disclose how much water Fondomonte is pumping, or whether the state would consider charging more for agricultural leases.

The best guess is that “the company could be pumping as much as 18,000 acre-feet per year — enough to supply 54,000 single-family homes — raising concerns that the groundwater will disappear faster than it can be replenished.

Alfalfa in particular is “one of the most water-intensive crops there is.” That means at “the current breakneck pace” of pumping threatens to stop the flow of the Colorado River water entirely.

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