America is in big trouble as certain parts of the country have experienced historic droughts like never before, and while their water supplies plummet to critical levels, politicians are allowing foreign nations to suck them dry of any reserves.
In the state of Arizona, for example, experts have warned that the state is suffering from the worst drought in over 1,000 years.
To combat the historic drought, residents of the state have been forced to limit their water usage or risk completely running out.
However, as the crisis intensifies, politicians have been allowing foreign companies to take as much water as they see fit – and they’re taking it for free.
One example in Arizona is Saudi water company, Fondomonte, who is leasing farmland in the state. The Saudi company is reportedly free to pump as much water as they want from Arizona’s aquifers, as the groundwater remains unregulated even as American citizens are being forced to cut back.
The company is using the water to grow alfalfa – a notoriously water demanding crop – then exporting the crops back to the middle east to feed their own cattle. This move comes as the Saudis have already exhausted their own underground aquifers.
While residents of the state continue to suffer, Fondomonte is not only being allowed to suck the state dry of its water, but they’re actually being given a discount to do so. The company does not pay for the specific amount of water they are sucking up, but instead they pay a fixed cost per acre annually – which is just $25 compared to the market rate which is $50.
The State Land Department says it provides a 50% discount because “it doesn’t pay for improvements” to the Saudi-leased farmland.
Despite there being no records to indicate exactly how much Fondomonte is pumping out of the aquifer, a State Land Department report estimates the company is taking as much as 18,000 acre-feet every year – enough water to supply 54,000 single-family homes, with a value ranging from $3 -$4 million.
But the real number is even higher. A majority of residents in Maricopa County pay $242 per acre foot of water delivered to them, and numbers suggest that Fondomonte should be paying $5.42 million per year.
Reports indicate that the company only pays about $86,000 per year to lease the land and it provides them with virtually unlimited access to Arizona’s non-renewable water supply.
Saudi Arabian companies have been searching around the globe for a suitable location to rob of its water and it seems as though the U.S. may have provided just that, making it easier than ever for the middle eastern country to take advantage of how weak America has gotten.