How Much Water Do Some of California's Thirsty Crops Use Each Year?

California continues to wrestle with water savings as the state enters its fourth year in drought-mode, and one statistic that often pops up is how much water agriculture consumes.

While alert systems and fines for water wasters are set up to shrink residential water use, agriculture makes up 80 percent of human water use in the state. And some California crops use guzzle more water -- much more -- each year than others do, according to a 2015 California Agricultural Water Use summary from the Pacific Institute.

While almonds have been dragged through the mud in recent news reports, they're not the biggest culprit in California. That dubious honor falls on alfalfa, according to the Pacific Institute.

The livestock fodder and occasional salad topping -- it's a cousin of peas -- used the most water, the study's 2010 data say, drinking an estimated 1.7 trillion gallons that year.

Click through the slideshow at the top of this story to see how much water other major crops grown in the Golden State used. 

Complete drought coverage: Running Dry.

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