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Water for Food

The production of your food needs 10 times more water than your private water consumption.

How much water is needed to produce 1 kg of food?

green green green yellow yellow yellow red red red
700 l 900 l 1300 l 1800 l 3300 l 3900 l 4800 l 5000 l 15500 l
apple potatoes bread sojabeans egg chicken porc cheese beef
apples potatoes grain/bread soybean eggs chicken pork cheese beef

Source: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

The net amount of water required for an acceptable nutritional level based on 80% vegetarian, 20% animal has been estimated as 1,300 m3/p yr, whereas for a purely vegetarian diet it is about half of that.

Source: «Water – More Nutrition per Drop» page 23 and: Rockström, J., Gordon, L., Folke, C., Falkenmark, M., and Engwall, M.: «Linkages among water vapor flows, food production, and terrestrial ecosystem services», 1999, Conservation Ecology 3(2):5.

In California today, you may save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you would by not showering for six entire months.

Quelle: Worldwatch Institute, «Meat – now it‘s not Personal», page 14

Depending on diet, each person is responsible for the conversion of 2,000 to 5,000 litres of water to vapour each day. Drinking requirements of 2 to 5 litres, or “reasonable“ household requirements of between 100 to 500 litres, seem insignificant when compared to the amount of water required to produce food.

Source: Stockholm International Water Institute: «Water – More Nutrition per Drop»


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