Saudis ‘Stealing’ American Water with Special Crop Exports During Drought

Water that is badly needed by the American people and farmers in Western Arizona is practically being “stolen” by businesses owned by Saudi Arabia.

These businesses grow and export home a highly water-intensive crop, whose farming is banned in their country, a report reveals.

Saudis Take Advantage of US for Water-Intensive Alfalfa

The situation with the water resources in Western Arizona and their “utilization” by Saudi Arabia companies to the detriment of the local communities seems so egregious. It even alarmed the state’s Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes.

The Saudi-run business in question is using Arizona’s scarce water to grow alfalfa. This is a forage crop among the most water-intensive in the world and whose growing is outlawed in Saudi Arabia for that reason, CBS News reports.

The indignation over the matter is getting so widespread that the Arizona legislature is mulling a prohibition on most of the foreign-owned farms in the state.

The report even cites the state’s Democratic AG Mayes as declaring that alfalfa farms are “essentially exporting” Arizona’s water to Saudi Arabia.

A case in hand is that of Fondomonte, a company whose parent is one of the biggest Saudi dairy conglomerates. Fondomonte bought huge chunks of the desert land in Western Arizona, which lies above an enormous groundwater aquifer.

Thus, it is allowed to pump out as much water as it wants because of a lack of regulation about how much water can be extracted.

Saudi Cows Enjoying Arizona’s Water

The report describes the situation as a “challenge” against the backdrop of “climate change,” dwelling on how Colorado’s water is “critically low.”

The quickly expanding urban areas of Arizona are already suffering dramatic water shortages. AG Mayes commented further that her state has no way of affording to give out its water “for free,” especially to the Saudis.

Holly Irwin, a supervisor at La Paz County, who raised the alarm about the issue when Fondomonte first bought land in Arizona in 2015, says the Saudis “depleted” their water back home. They are now taking advantage of the United States.

As the company is shipping dried alfalfa for cattle forage in Saudi Arabia, Mayes even said that Saudi cows were practically drinking Arizona’s water. She added the first step to deal with the “scandal” is to cancel the groundwater leases in the state.

This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.