As wildfires scorched California yet again this summer, Jose Dariush Leal da Costa, a Bay Area native with Portuguese roots, was harvesting his first almonds in a sun-drenched, watery oasis in southern Portugal.
The largest artificial lake in the European Union, the 250 sq km (97 sq miles) Alqueva, irrigates an area the size of Los Angeles, luring foreign investors at a time when climate change is fanning droughts from California to northern Europe.
Other Portuguese regions want similar irrigation projects, but Alqueva is unlikely to face competition from new schemes as EU rules that require sufficient clean water supplies for human needs have largely halted damming for agriculture.
Alqueva has faced environmental complaints, with green groups warning that the flooded areas would destroy wildlife habitats, while the intensive agriculture it encourages would pollute groundwater and soil.
Areas irrigated by Alqueva now stretch almost from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border, creating what EDIA chief Jose Salema calls "a green barrier to desertification", a phenomenon that threatens swathes of southern and central Europe.