One of the continuing challenges to almond production is the availability of water to optimize tree health and crop production. California’s Central Valley’s Mediterranean climate of cool and rainy winters followed by hot and dry summers is ideal for almond growth, as long as the almond trees can be provided water via irrigation. Limited water supplies—with or without drought—are in the state’s future. The Almond Board of California has invested heavily in the area of irrigation strategies that conserve water, and optimize production and tree health, as well as in ways to protect ground and surface water quality from potential runoff of grower inputs.
Water quality can also be a food-safety concern. Water can be a source as well as carry bacteria that can contribute to food safety issues for almonds. It is recommended that Growers test irrigation water sources for potential bacterial contamination to assure a healthful harvest.