Turns out it is our dietary choices that make the largest impact on our global water use. As the demand for water, much of which is used in agriculture, continues to rise, many water-deprived regions of the world will suffer an increase in social upheaval, violence and human suffering.
Of the 3 billion people projected to be added to the planet over the next half century, most will be born in countries that are already dealing with severe water shortages. Meanwhile, urbanization and industrialization will continue to drive people from villages to large cities where they will continue to demand more intensive residential water use.
The dietary choices of the more successful nations now plays a more critical role regarding water stewardship than even than the growth of human population. Today, more than 50 percent of the water consumed worldwide, including both water diverted from rivers and water pumped from underground, is used for irrigating animal fodder. Grain-fed meat tops the list as the biggest gulper of global water resources. Ihe water used to grow the grain that feeds the animals we eat is exponentially more than the water we could use to produce a similar quantity of vegetable protein. In short, less meat consumption globally would both protect and preserve world water resources.
Here are a few salient water statistics:
•It takes 1,000 tons of water to produce one ton of grain and the average carnivore in the wealthier countries is now consuming nearly a ton of grain in the form of grain-fed meat each year.
•Currently, over 1.2 billion people worldwide are without access to safe drinking water and more than 5 million people die each year from preventable water-related diseases.
•12% of the world population lacks clean drinking water, including 319 million Sub-Saharan Africans, 554 million Asians and 50 million Latin Americans.
•Each day around the world 4,500 children will die due to lack of access to clean water.
•40% of the world’s population now faces water scarcity. BY 2025 this is likey to increase to 66%, or two thirds of the population.
The World Water Council is currently organizing the 8th World Water Forum scheduled from the 18th to te 23rd of March in 2018 in Brasilia, Brazil. The goal of the Forum, which wi
ll be the world’s largest water-related event, is to achieve greater water security, promote water stewardship, build political commitments and trigger actions on critical water issues globally.
“Into what does the wind resolve itself
when distilled through the pores of the earth?
It resolves itself into water,
from whence all things spring.”