Although this permits multiple interpretations about impacts to be made by those who understand water resource management well, it leaves determination of the potential impacts associated with water footprints open to uncertainty and misinterpretation by those who do not. M. W. (2011) estimated weighted blue water use as 61 L, of which 75% arose from on-farm forage irrigation. B. G. Decreasing evapotranspiration (i.e., green water loss) is related to a decrease in photosynthesis and thus in biomass production because transpiration is related to carbon dioxide uptake, with both exchanges occurring through plant stomata. After all, we have an abundance of rivers, lakes, and even three oceans, and we’re home to the largest fresh water lakes in the world. Global meat production doubled between 1980 and 2004 and it continues to mushroom as emerging economies develop a middle class that is hungry for beef. However, we recommend a holistic approach, in which the role of livestock in human societies is evaluated as a whole instead of considering the effect on water alone. For the same methodology, results also depend on the boundaries of the systems; for example, the total water use for 1 kg of beef may or may not include the contribution of nursing cows. Life cycle assessment approaches tend either to exclude green water (considering that the evapotranspiration of soil water by crops has no more impact than that by the vegetation they replaced) or to include only the variation in green water attributable to changes in land use (e.g., from pasture to cropland; e.g., de Boer et al., 2011). More than 1 billion people depend on livestock farming, and animal products are an essential component of human diets. Blue, Green, or Gray Water: Which One Is Critical to Calculate Water Use? If we compare water use (i.e. Aubin 82: 105-119. According to a 2012 study, “A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products,” by Mesfin M. Mekonnen and Arjen Y. Hoekstra of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, “The total water footprint of animal production constitutes 29% of the water footprint of total agricultural production,” with one-third of that water being used to raise beef cattle. Find your information in our database containing over 20,000 reports, Tools and Tutorials explained in our Media Centre, global population connected to wastewater collection systems, global water and sewerage infrastructure satisfaction. Not only can the loss of water from irrigation conveyance systems be significant, but the percentage of consumptive water use for agriculture is high. Water use in industries Apart from human consumption, the importance of water in the global economy is evident - from agriculture, to manufacturing and industry, to the energy industry. The variation probably arises from differences in local evapotranspiration, production systems, and animal productivity. Michel Doreau, Michael S. Corson, Stephen G. Wiedemann, Water use by livestock: A global perspective for a regional issue?, Animal Frontiers, Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 9–16, https://doi.org/10.2527/af.2012-0036. Water is a precious resource that must be conserved globally by all sectors of the economy, including agriculture and thus livestock farming. Global animal production requires about 2422 Gm 3 of water per year (87.2% green, 6.2% blue, 6.6% grey water). Agriculture Meat’s large water footprint: why raising livestock and poultry for meat is so resource-intensive Kai Olson-Sawyer December 16, 2013 0 Surprise and disbelief. Get in touch with us. This is likely to decrease to 83.3% by 2025. M. M. Plant science innovations are vital to keep crops healthy and maintain this thriving economy. Water footprinting: How to address water use in life cycle assessment? Blue water represents surface and groundwater, whereas green water represents water lost from soils by evaporation and transpiration from plants derived directly from rainfall (Falkenmark, 2003). The charts show the global average water footprint/requirement for the production of one tonne of product (in cubic metres); per kilocalorie (per litre); and per gram of … Despite these possible improvements, it is noteworthy that the green water content of grasslands and crops used for animals lies in the same range as that of crops used for human food or biofuels. Mtg. The 2 main options include decreasing the amount of irrigated feeds and reducing water intake by animals. household water use makes up approximately 22% of our country’s total water use, compared to an average of 10% worldwide. (1997), who reported 200,000 L/kg of beef, did not specify the method used, but the calculation was based on extensive rangeland systems, which require a large area for animal production. On a global scale, agriculture represents 70% of blue water use. As described above, the results depend on the methodology and the coefficients used (e.g., for evapotranspiration). It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide, This PDF is available to Subscribers Only. Furthermore, a third of worldwide grain production is used to feed livestock. 4 Agriculture is also a major source of water pollution from nutrients, pesticides and other Consequently the current global water withdrawals for irrigation are estimated to be about 2000 to 2500 km 3 per year. As a theoretical amount of water, gray water does not influence water scarcity. Industry (including power generation) accounts for 19% and households for 12 This text provides general information. For example, Peters et al. J. Such weighted values in blue water use for livestock products, although sometimes much less than the amount of water they drink during their lifetimes, have been designed to reflect the impact of livestock on water scarcity. Rep. Ser. This method inspired the appearance of the “water footprint” in 2002 (Hoekstra et al., 2011; Hoekstra, 2012), which expanded the concept to estimate the total domestic- and foreign-based water use of a country and to inform consumers and policy makers about the volumes of water used. , Hoving I. E., Vellinga T. V. Deutsch In contrast, because beef meat is the only product of a beef herd, the calculation of total water use of 1 kg of beef includes the water use by both bulls and steers, but also that of nursing cows. It accounts for an estimated 70 per cent of total freshwater withdrawals. Motorized tankers allow water to be taken directly to animals, rather than vice versa (source: Bernard Faye; used with permission). The use of agricultural water makes it possible to grow fruits and vegetables and raise livestock, which is a main part of our diet. With growing demand from human activities on the one hand and climate change on the other, many regions especially in the south struggle to find enough freshwater to meet their needs. Thus, water intake per kilogram of meat decreases when age at slaughter, and thus total feed intake, decreases, such as for chicken or for beef produced from culled dairy cows rather than from young beef cattle. As per the Central Water Commission, 85.3% of the total water consumed was for agriculture in the year 2000. The same pattern holds for total use of other resources, such as fossil energy, phosphorus, or land. The green, blue and grey water footprint of farm animals and animal products. Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. Because of these differences and the fact that existing studies have analyzed only a limited number of different livestock production systems, methods give wildly different results for the same livestock product. In any case, the conceptual chain from estimating water use to estimating its potential impact is not built explicitly into the water footprint concept. For example, grassland irrigation, a common practice in “wet” countries such as New Zealand and the Netherlands, can be a useful strategy for increasing grass production. Numerous reports describe ways to conserve green water with cropping and management practices. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates agricultural producers to minimize water quality and quantity issues by using best management practices. Everything we use, wear, buy, sell and eat takes water to make. , Chapagain A. K. Hoekstra Vision for Food, Agriculture and the Environment Initiative, International Food Policy Research Institute, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Statista assumes no Paris, France, and Earthscan, London, UK. The most efficient practice may be to decrease irrigation of feeds grown in areas where rainfall is too low to avoid freshwater depletion, at least during certain periods of the year (Figure 5). Including these “upstream” and “downstream” uses of water by the livestock-product supply chain creates an indicator of the total water used by the production system, which can then be expressed on a per-kilogram basis for each product from that animal. Globally, agriculture accounts for 92% of the global freshwater footprint; 29% of the water in agriculture is directly or indirectly used for animal production . Quick Analysis with our professional Research Service: Content Marketing & Information Design for your projects: In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the {amountStatistics} most important statistics relating to "Global water Industry". Tools such as the water footprint and LCA are available, but their interpretation by policy makers has to be refined. Water scarcity is a function of freshwater supply and demand, both of which vary greatly in time and space around the world. Vol. The chart below shows the water withdrawal ratios by continent, where the agricultural part varies from more than 80 percent in Africa and Asia to just over 20 percent in Europe. In arid zones, the use of draft animals for drilling, hydraulic works, water extraction, and transport supports human settlements (Blanfort et al., 2011). Although such arid and semiarid regions are the most vulnerable to water scarcity, the demand side of the equation can have a strong, if not stronger, influence. The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Global water Industry" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics. Animal agriculture puts a heavy strain on many of the Earth’s finite land, water and energy resources. Agriculture is the number-one user of water, accounting for 65% of total water consumed in Australia and 70% worldwide. In the case of aquaculture, “water dependency” has been considered an “impact” in LCA studies. , Herrero M., van de Steeg J., Peden D. Wiedemann How can we continue growing food without letting nature go thirsty for clean water? International Business Times. Summary (Indianapolis, Indiana) 2020. A more efficient use of water in agriculture would certainly help. In hot countries, the use of shelters reduces heat stress and leads to a decrease in water intake (Morand-Fehr and Doreau, 2001). Global Water Outlook to 2025: Averting an Impending Crisis, A Report. , Falkenmark M., Gordon L., Rockström J., Folke C. Hoekstra Most of the total volume of water (98%) refers to the water footprint of the feed for the animals. In the US, it remains the main source of pollution of drinking water reservoirs [4].In a 2013 study, three dozen environmental scientists undertook an ambitious task of identifying the harmful effects of agricultural runoff across the U.S. in order to understand and help manage it better [4].. Irrigation water and rainfall are taken up by plants and then transpired, moving to another location via the atmosphere. Early-maturity varieties may be sown to synchronize maximal growth with freshwater availability, but their yields are less than those of normal varieties. (2012) for 6 Australian beef systems, which correspond to blue water use, weighted by water-stress indices, ranging from 3 to 221 L/kg of body weight of beef. It indicated that 1 334 562 ha or 1.1% of South Africa’s land surface was actively irrigated during 2014/15. For example, we don’t usually associate slaughtering animals with water consumption, but we should. Seasonal changes in rainfall are predicted to be even greater, with the greatest increases in December to February in the Tibetan Plateau (+19%) and northern Europe (+15%) and in June to August in southern Asia (+11%), and the greatest decreases in December to February in the Sahara (–18%) and central America (–14%) and in June to August in the Mediterranean (–29%) and southern Africa (–23%; IPCC, 2007). , Wiedemann S. G., Rowley H. V., Tucker R. W. Pimentel United Nations Environment Programme, 2008, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2004, International Organization for Standardization, 2006, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2009, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006, http://www.inra.fr/l_institut/expertise/expertises_realisees/secheresse_et_agriculture_rapport_d_expertise, http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html, http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/water2/, http://www.fao.org/nr/water/docs/escarcity.pdf, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic, Copyright © 2020 American Society of Animal Science. Purple dots indicate departments with more than 100,000 cattle in January 2009, whereas yellow dots represent departments subject to water restrictions in summer 2008 [source: data from the French BDNI (National Databank for Cattle Identification; http://www.inst-elevage.asso.fr/) and Ministry of Ecology (http://www.eaufrance.fr/)]. The water footprint takes into account different types of water, including virtual water, but is limited to on-farm flows, whereas LCA is limited mainly to blue water but includes off-farm uses (e.g., “from cradle to farm gate”). Hoekstra and Chapagain (2007) estimated a water footprint of approximately 15,000 L/kg of beef. In contrast, few LCA approaches include gray water, most considering that it is already addressed in the LCA impact indicators for aquatic toxicity (related to pesticide and heavy-metal emissions) and potential eutrophication (related to nitrate and phosphate emissions, among others). Despite a huge variability in estimates according to the method used, it is clear that blue water use is the best criterion for estimating the contribution of livestock to the risk of water scarcity. Alternately, farmers could purchase corn from regions where it requires no irrigation, but other environmental impacts may increase because of changes in land use and, to a lesser extent, increased transportation distances. For pastures with similar evapotranspiration per hectare, if animal productivity (e.g., daily body weight gain) is divided by 10 and grazing area per animal is multiplied by 10, the water footprint of the animal could increase 50 to 100 times, whereas the true impact of animals on water scarcity would be relatively low. A third is whether water that returns to the same location (e.g., in urine) is considered to have been consumed. As much as 50% of all food produced in the world ends up as waste every year according to figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Most agricultural LCA studies focus on blue water use only, defined as consumption (evaporative use) at the inventory stage. Worldwide, agriculture represents 70% of total blue water use and 86% of blue + green water use (World Water Assessment Programme, 2009), whereas livestock farming uses 15% of the evapotranspiration of irrigated crops, 33% of that of rain-grown crops, and 68% of that of permanent pastures and rangelands (FAO, 2006). 2000. Approximately 3.8tn cubic metres of water is used by humans annually with 70% being consumed by the global agriculture sector. A clean and plentiful water supply is essential for productive agriculture to supply the public with adequate food and fiber. I. J. M. The amount of water that flows through an aquaculture farm represents the majority of water dependency and can be a management indicator for river-based farms, although it has little practical use for sea-based farms (Aubin and van der Werf, 2009). A. Y. No. Half of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. Additionally, differences in which management and environmental processes are included in system boundaries need to be considered when comparing methods. Livestock farming also has positive impacts on the environment related to water use. If this value is considered, the total water used to produce the 60 million tons of beef every year is greater than the total freshwater reserves of the planet. D. Large differences are observed for beef blue water use: 1,471 L/kg for industrial systems in India and 0 for grazing in India and China. For example, corn, which is widely used for livestock feeding, is highly sensitive to water scarcity, requiring irrigation for maximum biomass production when rainfall is insufficient. The remaining water, in animals and their products, leaves the farm. Which Method(s) Should Be Used to Assess Water Use by Livestock? Global water demand is expected to increase greatly in the future, by 50% between 1995 and 2025 (United Nations Environment Programme, 2008), especially in developing countries, not only because of larger human populations, but also because of overall increases in industrial production and human affluence, which lead to greater consumption of energy, consumer goods, and food, especially animal products. Among existing studies, water use per kilogram of beef ranges from 27 to 200,000 L (Peters et al., 2010; Wiedemann et al., 2010). Even if water demand does not lead to water scarcity (e.g., in wet regions), it can increase groundwater depth, potentially decreasing water flow to rivers and causing ecosystem changes. When beef is produced by culled cows from a dairy herd, the amount of water necessary to produce 1 kg of beef is divided between milk and beef products. Prod. But how much water is needed to produce it? By 2050, feeding a planet of 9 billion people will require an estimated 50 percent increase in agricultural production and a 15 percent increase in water withdrawals. Assoc. That matters because the water doesn’t just appear – it has to be pumped in and out of the slaughterhouse. In the same location, crops and pastures have similar evapotranspiration rates, related to net primary production, which is less than that for forest. today. Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Livestock water use and productivity in the Nile Basin. Now, Kerlink , a specialist in solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), and Sensoterra , a specialist in wireless soil-moisture-sensor solutions, have announced a partnership to take care of water waste. For example, animal use of marshes damages biodiversity less than draining marshes to convert them to agriculture. The common pool nature of groundwater and the difficulty of observing it directly make this resource difficult to monitor and regulate, especially in developing countries. The amount of water wasted globally … Research to develop indicators that inherently represent environmental impacts of water use has flourished in the past few years, specifically in the framework of life cycle assessment (LCA). It has been estimated that 64% of the world population will live in water-deprived zones in 2025 (Rosegrant et al., 2002). B. G. Worldwide, agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption. Rough average of 150 billion gallons CH4globally per d… Worldwide, agriculture represents 70% of total blue water use and 86% of blue + green water use (World Water Assessment Programme, 2009), whereas livestock farming uses 15% of the evapotranspiration of irrigated crops, 33% of that of rain-grown crops, and 68% of that of permanent pastures and rangelands . Additionally, water use may be more detrimental in one region compared with another, depending on the level of water stress in each region (Figure 3). L. Deutsch et al. Livestock water use in the United States Every five years, water withdrawal and use data at the county level are compiled into a national water-use data system, and state-level data are published in a national circular. Improving Water Use in Agriculture: Experience in the Middle East and North Africa. Some of the crops that require the most water … Improvements in livestock management, such as croplivestock integration with the use of crop by-products by livestock, have been proposed (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006; van Breugel et al., 2010). All LCA approaches include on-farm water used for irrigation, drinking water, and animal servicing (e.g., cleaning out buildings). Unfortunately, global climate change is modifying the supply side of the equation (rainfall patterns), and not in a uniform manner. Canada ranked fourth, reporting an annual water consumption of 1,017 cubic meters per capita. We use the outcomes of that study to show general trends in the WFs of poultry, pork and beef. Global water treatment and supply companies based on revenue 2018, Market value of leading water utilities companies worldwide 2020, Leading water utilities companies worldwide based on market cap 2020, Annual water withdrawals worldwide by region 2010, Global water withdrawal per capita by select country 2018, Global share of population with wastewater collection systems by region 2018, Water infrastructure repair market size worldwide 2020-2026, Global hydropower installed capacity 2014-2019, Global water withdrawal and consumption 2014-2040, Global water consumption by sector 2014-2040, Facebook: number of monthly active users worldwide 2008-2020, Smartphone market share worldwide by vendor 2009-2020, Number of apps available in leading app stores 2020, Country with the largest renewable water resources, Wastewater treatment's share of the global water industry market, Share of the global population with access to safely managed water, Global market share of water subsectors 2019, Global per capita renewable water resources by select country 2017, Global population with access to improved drinking water sources by region 2017, Share of global freshwater withdrawals by major water use sector 2010, Global key figures on wastewater generation 2020, Global wastewater treatment companies based on revenue 2018, Global water withdrawals by select country 2017, Global satisfaction with water and sewerage infrastructure by country 2019, Global per capita spending on water, sanitation, and hygiene by country 2019, Global operational desalination plants by sector use 2018, Worldwide added new hydropower capacity by region 2019, Largest hydropower producing countries 2019, Global energy consumption share in the water sector by use 2016, Global industrial wastewater treatment market value by region 2019-2024, Global industrial water demand by region 2010 & 2050. Agriculture is an industry that uses a large amount of freshwater. Increasing the proportion of fresh grass or silage in the diet thus decreases drinking water intake. The 2 groups of methods thus differ greatly. This New York Times article on agricultural water use in California suggests that we’re shipping 100 billion gallons of water a year to China in the form of alfalfa. "Cow Farts Have 'Larger Greenhouse Gas Impact' Than Previously Thought; Methane Pushes Climate Change". Find Out Because this article is devoted to the risks of water shortage, we thus examine only the effects of livestock on blue and green water. , Pfister S. Ridoutt Of the water used in agriculture, only about half of it can be reused, because much of it evaporates or is lost during transit. Update, Insights into the world's most important technology markets, Advertising & Media Outlook Globally, about 40% of irrigation water is supplied from groundwater and in India it is expected to be over 50%. Overview and forecasts on trending topics, Key figures and rankings about brands and companies, Consumer insights and preferences in various industries, Detailed information about political and social topics, All key figures about regions and countries, Everything you need to know about Consumer Goods, Identify market potentials of the digital future, Technology Market Outlook This statistic shows the water consumption by country. Both methods sum blue, green, and gray water use into a single indicator. Water cycle and people: Water for feeding humanity, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). By one definition, human populations face water scarcity when annual renewable water supplies in a region fall below 1,000 m3/person, which currently occurs throughout most countries in Northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (United Nations Environment Programme, 2008). For chickens consequence, livestock farming, and Earthscan, London, UK of! 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