The ties between Saudi and Arizona farmers go back nearly a century

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - 12:14pm
Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - 5:44pm

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Newly elected Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has promised to stop what she calls a sweetheart deal that allows Saudi farmers to use up valuable Arizona water for free to grow thirsty alfalfa in our state. 

It was a story broken by the Arizona Republic that has sparked outrage far and wide. Now, a new book from Arizona native Natalie Koch dives deep into the long history that got us here. 

In “Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia,” Koch details the story of these two deserts and how, from camels to date palms, they have been intertwined for nearly a century.

Natalie Koch
Verso Books
"Arid Empire: The Entangled Fates of Arizona and Arabia," by Natalie Koch.

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