New evidence on how much water is needed for animal products.
A study carried out by researchers from the University of Twente, the Netherlands, provides a comprehensive account of the global green, blue and grey water footprints of different sorts of farm animals and animal products, distinguishing between different production systems and considering the conditions in all countries of the world separately.
Some of the main findings:
- The blue and grey water footprints of animal products are larger for industrial systems than for mixed or grazing systems. From a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing or mixed systems are therefore to be preferred above products from the bio-industry.
- The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of a wisely chosen crop product with equivalent nutritional value.
- About 29% of the total water footprint of the agricultural sector in the world is related to the production of animal products.
- One third of the global water footprint of animal production is related to beef cattle.
A second study carried out by the same researchers quantifies the green, blue and grey water footprints of hundreds of crops and crop products, showing variations from province to province, for all crops around the world.
Download the two reports:
Report 47 – www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol1.pdf
Report 48 – www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Report-48-WaterFootprint-AnimalProducts-Vol1.pdf.
Download data appendices:
Report 47 – Volume 2 – www.waterfootprint.org/Reports/Report47-WaterFootprintCrops-Vol2.pdf
More publications are available at http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files/Publications