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A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products

The increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world's freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country.... Full description

Journal Title: Ecosystems 2012-04-01, Vol.15 (3), p.401-415
Main Author: Mekonnen, Mesfin
Other Authors: Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: New York: Springer Science+Business Media
ID: ISSN: 1432-9840
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recordid: cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_1008836406
title: A Global Assessment of the Water Footprint of Farm Animal Products
format: Article
creator:
  • Mekonnen, Mesfin
  • Hoekstra, Arjen Ysbert
subjects:
  • Agriculture
  • Animal feeding and feeds
  • Animal products
  • Animals
  • Article
  • Beef
  • Behavior
  • Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Calories
  • Cereals
  • Crop
  • Crop production
  • Crops
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystems
  • Eggs
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Management
  • Evolution
  • Farms
  • Feed conversion ratio
  • Fresh water
  • Freshwater environments
  • Freshwater resources
  • Geoecology/Natural Processes
  • Grazing
  • Hydrology/Water Resources
  • IR-80897
  • Life Sciences
  • Livestock
  • Meat
  • Meats
  • METIS-285554
  • Milk
  • Nutrition
  • Plant Sciences
  • Pollution
  • Pressure
  • Production technology
  • Proteins
  • Roots
  • Surface water
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Systematics
  • Water consumption
  • Water footprint
  • Water pollution
  • Water use
  • Zoology
ispartof: Ecosystems, 2012-04-01, Vol.15 (3), p.401-415
description: The increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world's freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country. Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times larger than for cereals and starchy roots. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is 1.5 times larger than for pulses. The unfavorable feed conversion efficiency for animal products is largely responsible for the relatively large water footprint of animal products compared to the crop products. Animal products from industrial systems generally consume and pollute more ground- and surface-water resources than animal products from grazing or mixed systems. The rising global meat consumption and the intensification of animal production systems will put further pressure on the global freshwater resources in the coming decades. The study shows that from a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller blue and grey water footprint than products from industrial systems, and that it is more water-efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 1432-9840
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 1432-9840
  • 1435-0629
url: Link


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descriptionThe increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world's freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country. Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times larger than for cereals and starchy roots. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is 1.5 times larger than for pulses. The unfavorable feed conversion efficiency for animal products is largely responsible for the relatively large water footprint of animal products compared to the crop products. Animal products from industrial systems generally consume and pollute more ground- and surface-water resources than animal products from grazing or mixed systems. The rising global meat consumption and the intensification of animal production systems will put further pressure on the global freshwater resources in the coming decades. The study shows that from a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller blue and grey water footprint than products from industrial systems, and that it is more water-efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.
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subjectAgriculture ; Animal feeding and feeds ; Animal products ; Animals ; Article ; Beef ; Behavior ; Biomedical and Life Sciences ; Calories ; Cereals ; Crop ; Crop production ; Crops ; Ecology ; Ecosystems ; Eggs ; Environmental Chemistry ; Environmental Management ; Evolution ; Farms ; Feed conversion ratio ; Fresh water ; Freshwater environments ; Freshwater resources ; Geoecology/Natural Processes ; Grazing ; Hydrology/Water Resources ; IR-80897 ; Life Sciences ; Livestock ; Meat ; Meats ; METIS-285554 ; Milk ; Nutrition ; Plant Sciences ; Pollution ; Pressure ; Production technology ; Proteins ; Roots ; Surface water ; Sustainable agriculture ; Systematics ; Water consumption ; Water footprint ; Water pollution ; Water use ; Zoology
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descriptionThe increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world's freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country. Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times larger than for cereals and starchy roots. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is 1.5 times larger than for pulses. The unfavorable feed conversion efficiency for animal products is largely responsible for the relatively large water footprint of animal products compared to the crop products. Animal products from industrial systems generally consume and pollute more ground- and surface-water resources than animal products from grazing or mixed systems. The rising global meat consumption and the intensification of animal production systems will put further pressure on the global freshwater resources in the coming decades. The study shows that from a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller blue and grey water footprint than products from industrial systems, and that it is more water-efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.
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abstractThe increase in the consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world's freshwater resources. This paper provides a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products, considering different production systems and feed composition per animal type and country. Nearly one-third of the total water footprint of agriculture in the world is related to the production of animal products. The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of crop products with equivalent nutritional value. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is 20 times larger than for cereals and starchy roots. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is 1.5 times larger than for pulses. The unfavorable feed conversion efficiency for animal products is largely responsible for the relatively large water footprint of animal products compared to the crop products. Animal products from industrial systems generally consume and pollute more ground- and surface-water resources than animal products from grazing or mixed systems. The rising global meat consumption and the intensification of animal production systems will put further pressure on the global freshwater resources in the coming decades. The study shows that from a freshwater perspective, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller blue and grey water footprint than products from industrial systems, and that it is more water-efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.
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