Avocado production is draining Chile’s water supply
May it be for Guacamole or as a health food, the prominence of avocado as the go-to-food is continuously spreading all over the globe.
Fortunately for Chile, Avocado has been one of its most popular export product.
However, a report showed that while the demand for the fruit should be a good thing, there’s also a downside to it.
Avocado production in Chile is draining the country’s water supply.
One kilogram of avocados needs 2,000 litres of water, ten times more than what’s needed for a kilo of oranges and tomatoes.
The problem is worsened by the fact that the avocado farms have set up in a region that’s naturally dry and has been suffering a lasting drought.
Residents say they are forced to drink contaminated water delivered by truck because rivers and aquifers are being drained by avocado agribusiness.
A report from the Tree Hugger states that in 2011, Chile’s water authority, the Dirección General de Aguas, published an investigation conducted by satellite that showed at least 65 illegal underground channels bringing water from the rivers to the private plantations.
Some of the big agribusinesses have been convicted for unauthorised water use and water misappropriation.
60 percent of Chile’s avocados go to Europe. To be specific, the demand for avocados has doubled in the UK between 2013 and 2017, and has gone up by 27 percent in the last year alone.