This California Couple Uses Mind-Boggling Amount of Water

Megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick have built a multi-billion dollar empire
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2016 10:43 AM CDT
Updated Aug 14, 2016 10:19 AM CDT
This California Couple Uses Mind-Boggling Amount of Water
Megafarmers Stewart and Lynda Resnick, seen in this undated photo provided by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.   (AP Photo/Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

While you may not be familiar with California power couple and megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick, it's highly likely you've heard of some of the things they own. There's flower delivery service Teleflora; Fiji Water; Pom Wonderful juices; Halos mandarin oranges; groves upon groves of navels, grapefruits, and lemons; and enough pistachio and almond trees to produce more of those nuts than any other company in the world. And yes, everything about what they do requires water. Lots of water. "They are now thought to consume more of the state's water than any other family, farm, or company," writes Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones. "They control more of it in some years than what's used by the residents of Los Angeles and the entire San Francisco Bay Area combined."

They achieved this feat by becoming master manipulators of the state's "byzantine" water rules, though Lynda insists they have "no influence politically." Given the state's parched conditions, the Resnicks draw the kind of criticism you might expect, thought Harkinson writes that it's mitigated by their "progressive bona fides." Yes, the Resnicks, which last year rebranded their holdings as the Wonderful Company, are super rich. But in 2015 their political and charitable donations hit $48 million. And in recent years they've begun to invest back into their Lost Hills farming community in central California, spending millions on education, infrastructure, and health initiatives. Read the full profile. (Lynda Resnick is on the list of the top 10 richest self-made women in the US.)

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