Located on the western coast of the USA, California is the most populated state and is home to 38 million people (see Figure 1, back page). Huge farms and ranches operate here, producing over two thirds of all the fruit and nuts grown in the USA, consuming vast amounts of water in the process.
The state exports nuts, vegetables, wine and dairy products worldwide, to the European Union, Canada, China and Japan among others. These products are largely grown in the Central Valley in California, an area averaging 80 km in width and approximately 640 km in length. The region has a Mediterranean-type climate, with warm wet winters and hot dry summers. Water is supplied from four sources:
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