Interesting Facts About Farm Water Conservation
Irrigation has been used for thousands of years to increase agricultural production and provide protection against drought. Agriculture provides us with many goods, but it also takes away from us. Agriculture is the single largest food
provider and also the largest use of global water resources.
- Daily US agriculture water use: 10 billion gallons.
- 128 billion gallons, this accounts for 40% of US freshwater withdrawals.
- 70% of freshwater use globally is for agriculture.
- Gallons of rainwater and irrigation used by global agriculture every year: 100 trillion gallons = 2 quadrillion. That is enough to cover the entire United States with 2 feet of water.
85% of water withdrawals in developing countries is for agriculture.
- 4% of US farms use drip or precision irrigation systems which are more efficient.
Gallons of water needed to produce foods
- 1 lb. of sugar - 400 gallons of water.
- 1 lb. of coffee - 2.500 gallons of water.
- 1 lb. of soybeans - 240 gallons of water.
- 1 pint of milk - 250 gallons of water.
- 1 lb. of rice - 650 gallons of water.
- 1 lb. of wheat - 130 gallons of water.
- Most irrigated farms use 2-3 times more water than their crops need. And waste between 50% and 80% of irrigation water through leaks, runoff and evaporation.
Gallons of water needed by animals daily
- Hogs - 5 gallons of water.
- Cows - 150 gallons of water.
- Beef cattle - 20 gallons of water.
- Includes water for drinking as well as hosing down the dairies and feedlots.
Future challenges of feeding a growing world population
- Global food production will need to increase: 70%.
- Global energy consumption will increase: 36%.
- Water increase that will be needed for agriculture: 25%.
- By 2050 the global population will grow from: 7 billion to 9 billion.
- 15% to 35% of agriculture irrigation withdrawals throughout the world are thought to be unsustainable.
- Susceptible regions: 1) Western US; 2) Northern India & Pakistan; 3) Northern China; 4) Southeastern Australia.
- Over 80% of freshwater from India, China, and Egypt is used for irrigation as compared to nearly 1% in the UK.
The promise of indoor farming
- Controlled rainfall.
- Excess water is recycled.
- Cuts plant growth from 12 to 6 weeks.
- Various types of locations.
- Climate controlled.
Seametrics | Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/11/indoor-farming-sunless-food_n_847462.html#263102&title=Netherlands_Sunless_Farming; http://www.motherearthnews.com/uploadedImages/articles/online_articles/
2011-06-01/impactX_resized.jpg; http://www.motherearthnews.com/sustainable-farming/industrial-agriculture-water-use-ze0z11xkon.aspx#ixzz1nnVMfChi; http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/94760/icode; http://data.worldbank.