by Troy Farah, The Guardian
- Growing crops in order to feed cows has been identified as a major cause of water shortages, according to a new analysis in Nature
- Cattle fed crops used for beef and dairy account for 23% of all water consumption while agriculture accounts for 92% of freshwater use globally
- It takes nearly 450 gallons of water per quarter pound of beef
- Major metropolitan cities on the U.S. West Coast consume the most water-intensive beef and dairy products
- The U.S. experiences an increased risk of fish extinction due to draining water tables and toxic runoff into rivers and dried up streams
- Brian Richter, the study’s lead author, proposed letting farmland sit idle, also known as fallowing, in order to save water
- Straying away from water-intensive beef and dairy operations can play a role in saving water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform includes carbon sequestration through building healthy soils by working with nature using climate-friendly management and restoration practices in agricultural soils. These practices provide many benefits including helping to conserve water.
Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/02/agriculture-cattle-us-water-shortages-colorado-river
Nina TurnerEnergy Programs and Communications Coordinator
Janina is a graduate of the Energy Management and Design program at Sonoma State University with experience in non-profits that specialize in sustainability and volunteerism.