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  • Writer's pictureDave Drever

January 9th, 2023: Saudi Cows Eating Arizona Water

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

A few years ago, I started poking around at the idea of extracting water out of the Arizona aquifers and moving it across state lines to California and resell it to our agricultural industry who was once again being hammered by drought. Growing up in California, you know that almonds and cows are water heavy ag products and if you have driven I-5 as much as I have it's kind of hard not to think about the dust bowl.

I began talking to lawyers and the smartest people I know and there really wasn't a legal way to do it with junior or senior rights. So, I moved on. Then I came across a work around that water poor Saudi Arabia came up with.

Instead of Saudi Arabia using local resources to water their dairy and beef cattle, they came to the Southwest and exported our water...but not like you think. They purchased land in Arizona and California, used the aquifer water I was targeting to grow alfalfa and hay and then ship the harvest 8,000 miles away to Saudi Arabia where the cows consume the calories and produce protein-based products.

Rebecca Noble/Reuters

I recently read this quote that brought it all home: “You can’t take water and export it out of the state, there’s laws about that,” said Arizona geohydrologist Marvin Glotfelty, a well-drilling expert. “But you can take ‘virtual’ water and export it; alfalfa, cotton, electricity or anything created in part from the use of water.”

Arizona is in its worst drought in 1,200 years and other countries are tapping the #1 resource the Southwestern residents and farmers need to survive. It's up to Attorney General Kevin Mays to stop what he calls the "Saudi Water Grab".

You can read the whole report here: KM Water Plan

I guess the Western Asian countries proved one famous quote true: "If there is a will, there is a way!"

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