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Water - The Essential Resource

Water is the essential for life on earth, plants and animals, including humans, require water to live. But water is also needed for many other aspects of our world, especially the energy and food sectors. Of all the freshwater available less than 1 percent is utilized for human use, with 70 percent used for raising animals and growing crops. That figure is more than twice that of the 23% used by industry and 8% marked for municipal use.


The types of food we eat also determine the size of our water footprint, the largest slice is from meat or dairy products from animals fed water-intensive crops like corn. The average American diet requires 1,320 gallons of water daily. Globally, there is a move away from starched based diets to water intensive animal-based diets.

  • 1 pound of beef requires 1,799 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of pork requires 576 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of chicken requires 468 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of rice requires 449 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of wheat requires 132 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of goat requires 127 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of potatoes requires 119 gallons of water.

  • 1 pound of corn requires 108 gallons of water.

  • A small bag of peanut M&M’s requires 300 gallons of water to produce.

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