When Chipotle warned investors back in March that it might suspend serving guacamole at its restaurants if avocado prices rose because of the California drought, climate change hit home for chip-and-dip lovers, who took to Twitter in distress.
Things have not gotten better since then.
It takes 74 gallons of water to produce one pound of avocados—and drought-stricken California produces 95 percent of the avocados grown in the United States. No wonder Chipotle’s bean counters are worried.
One-third of the state’s avocados are grown in San Diego County, which has some of the highest water prices in the state. In Valley Center, a town that is home to many family farms, avocado growers have seen water rates rise steeply in recent years—so much so that irrigating their groves has become more expensive than the price they get for selling their avocados.