Saudis Have Been Buying up Drought Stricken American Farmland

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Our grid depends on this mineral

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As the Southwest grapples with a devastating multi-year drought, farmers in the region have expressed growing frustration over where their precious water is going. Namely, they’re upset by the fact that countries like Saudi Arabia have been buying up farmland in the US, and sending the food back to the Middle East.

Two years ago, the Saudi food company known as Almarai bought 10,000 acres of farmland in Arizona for $48 million, and more recently purchased 1,790 acres in Blythe, California. These properties mainly grow alfalfa to feed Saudi Arabia’s dairy industry, and though Almarai is a private enterprise, the company has admitted that using American farmland is “in line with the Saudi government direction toward conserving local resources,” especially water.

La Paz County Board of Supervisors Chairman Holly Irwin pointed out that “We’re not getting oil for free, so why are we giving our water away for free?” She added that “We’re letting them come over here and use up our resources. It’s very frustrating for me, especially when I have residents telling me that their wells are going dry and they have to dig a lot deeper for water. It’s costly for them to drill new wells.”

However, the Saudi’s aren’t entirely to blame for the situation. The Arizona county where they are growing food has the most lax water regulations in the state, and traditionally California has had pretty loose rules about water rights for farmers. If they don’t want foreign nations to take advantage of their water supplies, they may have to change the way that resource is managed.

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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .

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  • curenado

    They are droughted out so monkeys can steal their water and starve tjem out too feeding monkeys in the ruddy monkey desert. They could go to Africa where monkeys belong. Some nice Congo farms where they can be with stupid beasts just like them?

  • sunshine

    Well apparently some people are totally cool with this, I saw this on another site and *I* was a total asshole for not being on board with a bunch of hostile foreigners stealing American land from Americans. Nevermind that if an AMERICAN wanted to buy land in Saudi Arabia, they would never be allowed to do so. Funny how everyone else can protect their resources but not us! Must be racist or something. Probably more “white privilege”, right?

  • Mike

    shut them down PERIOD.

  • Mr Gadget

    release the 28 pages of the 9/11 report, freeze their assets worldwide, recall the 100’s of billions in arms, exile the bush family to saudi and let iran have the soft monsters for lunch. Oh wait, THE government is on the saudi team.

  • G B

    The land belongs to the people of America. Americans need to search out and throw out the low life who think they have the right to sell the land under their feet. Foreign investors should only be allowed to lease for a limited time and there should be regulations regarding use, state monitoring and environmental reparation at the end of the term. We have the same problem in the UK, ditto the world it seems.