How much water does it take to grow one almond? The answer may surprise you.
Last month I was at the SA leaders networking event and got talking to Tom Drakopoulos from Loxton Irrigation. We started talking about crops and their water needs. And he told me that almond trees need a lot of water. ‘How much is a lot?’ I asked. And he replied: ’16 megalitres per hectare.’
Now, I am not a farmer, and I do not work in the irrigation industry. And like me, many of you would not know what a hectare is or how much is 16 megalitres.
So I asked Tom to explain. He told me that the megalitre is 1 million litres. Okay, so that’s a lot of water, but I still couldn’t visualise it. Nor could I visualise the amount of land that is in a hectare.
And this is when his colleague Richard James popped into the conversation and said:
‘It takes 4 litres to grow one almond.’
Now I had context. Now I could understand how thirsty almond trees are and how they impact on our water resources.
4 Litres per almond. Think about that next time you grab a handful for a snack.
And think about this story the next time you need to convey some technical information.
Explain it so they get it.
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