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Mar 152013
 

From Green Right Now Reports

In honor of World Water Day (March 22), our newsletter today from the Food Tank  included “7 Strategies for Reducing Water.”

We’re not talking turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth. That’s a nice way to teach kids the value of water. But to get really serious about conservation, we’re going to have to do so much more.

Water-HiRes PROMOIf you’re a homeowner, you can start by reducing the irrigation of your lawn, which is where 30 to 70 percent of your household water gets used.

Or you can turn off an even bigger water spigot by changing the way you eat. The Food Tank’s No. 1 way to cut the water you consume: Eat less meat.

While it takes some water to support any kind of agriculture, livestock production is the highest user, the website reports, citing the Global Water Policy Project:

The amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of red meat can range from 13,000 to 43,000 liters of water; poultry requires about 3,500 liters of water; and pork needs about 6,000 liters. Eating more meatless meals, even one or two days a week, can help conserve water resources.

Translated that means it would take 3,430 to 11,353 U.S. gallons of water — enough to fill a small backyard swimming pool — to produce one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of red meat.

Cattle in Pen close up Kansas PROMOThe scale of it is hard to envision. Buckets and barrels of water to produce enough meat for one or two family meals.

Of course some of this water gets run back into the water cycle, but not before it’s polluted at both the production and consumption ends (enough said) requiring more energy inputs to cleanse and treat it.

One big plus: This type of conservation is compatible with your health goals. Eating less red meat has been associated with improved heart health, and eating less meat overall may reduce your risk of certain cancers. The fats in meat, the way it’s currently produced, are hurting Americans, who already eat too many of the “bad” fats and not enough Omega 3s. The latter can come from meat, but mainly grass-fed or pastured meats, not the industrially produced grain fed beef, pork and chicken that’s mainstream fare.

Read the other six strategies for saving water at the Food Tank, a new website dedicated to fostering nutritional, sustainable food systems that increase food security worldwide.