An efficient solution to a historic drought, or an environmentally risky pact with the devil?

That’s the question raised by California farmers who are irrigating their crops with waste water supplied by oil companies, in an arrangement slammed as dangerous by environmental campaigners.

Driving into the parched region around Bakersfield, in the western US state’s fertile Central Valley, it is evident how closely the agriculture and oil industries are related.

Lines of orchards stand near fields of oil wells stretched out as far as the eye can see.

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