The water footprint of livestock products

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Presented by Arjen Hoekstra, University of Twente, the Netherlands, at the Livestock Live Talk at ILRI, Nairobi, 7 February 2013

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The water footprint of livestock products

  1. 1. Livestock Live Talk at ILRI, Nairobi, 7 February 2013The water footprint of livestockproductsArjen HoekstraUniversity of Twente, the Netherlands
  2. 2. The total water footprint of the average consumer in the world3800 litre/day 3.8% of the water footprint relates to home water use 96.2% of the water footprint is ‘invisible’, related to the products bought on the market 91.5% agricultural products, 4.7% industrial products 22% of the water footprint does not lie within the country of the consumer, but other parts of the world Source: Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2012) The Water Footprint of Humanity, PNAS
  3. 3. Water footprint of national consumption Animal products Global average water footprint Animal products Source: Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2012) The Water Footprint of Humanity, PNAS
  4. 4. The water footprint of animal products► The water footprint of the agricultural sector is 92% of the total waterfootprint of humanity.► The water footprint of animal production is 29% of the water footprint of theglobal agricultural sector. Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2012) A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems
  5. 5. Meat consumption per capita World meat productionIndia 3.3 kg/yr UK 86 kg/yr Global average 47 kg/yrKenya 16 kg/yr USA 123 kg/yr Source: FAOSTAT (2010). Data for 2007.
  6. 6. Overview of presentation► Globalization of water► The water footprint concept► The water footprint of animal products► What can we do?
  7. 7. The spatial distribution of the water footprint of humanity Source: Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2012) The Water Footprint of Humanity, PNAS
  8. 8. The spatial distribution of the water footprint within Europe Source: Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2012) The Water Footprint of Humanity, PNAS
  9. 9. Europe: the world’s largest virtual water import region wheat, sunflower seed, cotton, industrial products soybean cotton cotton, wheat industrial products cotton cocoa cotton coffee soybean coffee soybean, sunflower seed 41% of the water footprint of European consumers is outside Europe Source: Hoekstra & Mekonnen (2012) The Water Footprint of Humanity, PNAS
  10. 10. Number of months with blue water scarcity > 100% Blue water scarcity = blue water footprint / blue water availability Source: Hoekstra et al. (2012) Global monthly water scarcity: blue water footprints versus blue water availability, PLoS ONE
  11. 11. The water footprint concept
  12. 12. The water footprint of a productthe volume of fresh water used to produce the product, summed over thevarious steps of the production chain.when and where the water was used:a water footprint includes a temporal and spatial dimension. Source: Hoekstra et al. (2011) The Water Footprint Assessment Manual, Earthscan, London, UK
  13. 13. The water footprint of a product Green water footprint volume of rainwater evaporated or incorporated into a product Blue water footprint volume of surface or groundwater evaporated or incorporated into a product Grey water footprint volume of polluted water Source: Hoekstra et al. (2011) The Water Footprint Assessment Manual, Earthscan, London, UK
  14. 14. Components of a water footprint Traditional water use Direct water footprint Indirect water footprint statistics Green water footprint Green water footprintGross water withdrawal Water consumption Return flow Blue water footprint Blue water footprint = Net water withdrawal Water Grey water footprint Grey water footprint pollution Source: Hoekstra et al. (2011) The Water Footprint Assessment Manual, Earthscan, London, UK
  15. 15. The water footprintof animal products
  16. 16. The water footprint of food Global average water footprint litre/kg litre/kcal starchy roots 400 0.5 cereals 1600 0.5 sugar crops 200 0.7 pulses 4000 1.1 vegetables 300 1.3 fruits 1000 2.1 pork 6000 2.2 poultry 4000 3.0 beef 15000 10.2 Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2012) A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems
  17. 17. The water footprint of crop products ► 146 crops and over 200 derived crop products, including various flours, beverages, fibres and biofuels. ► global coverage ► high spatial resolution (5x5 arc minute grid) ►explicit distinction rainfed-irrigated ► explicit distinction green-blue-grey
  18. 18. Global water footprint of wheat Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2010) The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products, Value of Water Research Report Series No.47, UNESCO-IHE.
  19. 19. Global water footprint of soybean Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2010) The green, blue and grey water footprint of crops and derived crop products, Value of Water Research Report Series No.47, UNESCO-IHE.
  20. 20. The water footprint of animal products ► six animal types ► global coverage ► per country ► explicit distinction extensive-mixed-intensive production systems ► accounting for composition and origin of animal feed ► explicit distinction green-blue-grey
  21. 21. The water footprint of a cowFood► 1300 kg of grains (wheat, oats, barley, corn, dry peas, soybean, etc)► 7200 kg of roughages (pasture, dry hay, silage, etc) 99%Water 1%► 24000 litres for drinking► 7000 litres for servicing Source: Hoekstra & Chapagain (2008) Globalization of Water, Blackwell, Oxford, UK
  22. 22. The water footprint of beef Source: Hoekstra & Chapagain (2008) Globalization of Water, Blackwell, Oxford, UK
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Grazing systems Water footprint: •mostly green •local Mixed systems Water footprint: •green-blue-grey •local Water footprint: •green-blue-grey •partly imported Industrial systems
  25. 25. Dryland Grazing in dry- and wetlands: water footprint has a low opportunity cost Wetland
  26. 26. Factory farming:water footprint has ahigh opportunity cost
  27. 27. The water footprint of an animal product The two major factors Type of Feed conversion efficiency Water footprint of anproduction system Feed composition animal product grazing, mixed or concentrates vs. roughages Water footprint of the industrial feed Feed origin organic or organic or conventional Water footprint related to conventional drinking and other on-farm rain-fed or irrigated imported or local activities Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2012) A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems
  28. 28. The two major factors 80 60 Feed conversion ► feed conversion improves from grazing to industrial systems.kg feed (dry mass)/kg output 40 20 0 mixed mixed mixed grazing grazing grazing industrial industrial industrial poultry pork beef 100 Concentrate feed in total feed dry matter ► but at the cost of more 80 high-nutrient concentrate feed with a 60 larger water footprint than roughages. % 40 20 0 mixed mixed mixed grazing grazing grazing industrial industrial industrial Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2012) A global assessment of poultry pork beef the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems
  29. 29. The water footprint of animal versus vegetal products Water footprintFood item Litre per kg Litre per kcal Litre per gram protein Litre per gram fatSugar crops 197 0.69 0.0 0.0Vegetables 322 1.34 26 154Starchy roots 387 0.47 31 226Fruits 962 2.09 180 348Cereals 1644 0.51 21 112Oil crops 2364 0.81 16 11Pulses 4055 1.19 19 180Nuts 9063 3.63 139 47Milk 1020 1.82 31 33Eggs 3265 2.29 29 33Chicken meat 4325 3.00 34 43Butter 5553 0.72 - 6.4Pig meat 5988 2.15 57 23Sheep/goat meat 8763 4.25 63 54Bovine meat 15415 10.19 112 153 Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2012) A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems
  30. 30. The water footprint of animal versus vegetal products► The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint ofa wisely chosen crop product with equivalent nutritional value. Source: Mekonnen & Hoekstra (2012) A global assessment of the water footprint of farm animal products, Ecosystems
  31. 31. Meat versus vegetarian dietIndustrialised countries: Vegetarian Meat diet kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day diet Animal Animal 950 2.5 2375 300 2.5 750 origin origin Vegetable Vegetable 2450 0.5 1225 3100 0.5 1550 origin origin Total 3400 3600 Total 3400 2300Source: Hoekstra (2013) The Water Footprint of Modern Consumer Society, Routledge, London, UK.
  32. 32. Meat versus vegetarian dietIndustrialised countries: Meat diet kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day Vegetarian kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day diet Animal 950 2.5 2375 Animal origin 300 2.5 750 origin Vegetable Vegetable 2450 0.5 1225 3100 0.5 1550 origin origin Total 3400 3600 Total 3400 2300Source: Hoekstra (2013) The Water Footprint of Modern Consumer Society, Routledge, London, UK.
  33. 33. Meat versus vegetarian dietDeveloping countries: Meat diet kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day Vegetarian kcal/day litre/kcal litre/day diet Animal 350 2.5 875 Animal origin 200 2.5 500 origin Vegetable Vegetable 2350 0.5 1175 2500 0.5 1250 origin origin Total 2700 2050 Total 2700 1750Source: Hoekstra (2013) The Water Footprint of Modern Consumer Society, Routledge, London, UK.
  34. 34. What can we do?
  35. 35. Reducing the water footprint of animal products Feed crop cultivation Livestock raisingReduce green - Increase green water productivity  more From industrial towards grazing or mixed systemswater footprint production from rain-fed lands - Reduce concentrate feed - Increase fraction of roughages Preferably grazing in areas unsuitable for crop Reduce blue - Towards supplementary or deficit irrigation growth (dry lands, wetlands, mountains)water footprint - Precision irrigationReduce grey Organic or precision farming: - No preventive antibioticswater footprint reduce use of fertilisers and pesticides - No excessive manure
  36. 36. Reducing humanity’s water footprint – CompaniesShared terminology & calculation standards– Global Water Footprint StandardProduct transparency– water footprint reporting / disclosure– labelling of products– certification of businessesQuantitative footprint reduction targets– benchmarking The Water Footprint Assessment Manual Earthscan, London, UK, 2011
  37. 37. The Water Footprint NetworkMission: Promoting sustainable, equitable and efficient water use throughdevelopment of shared standards on water footprint accounting and guidelinesfor the reduction and offsetting of impacts of water footprints.Network: bringing together expertise from academia, businesses, civil society,governments and international organisations.
  38. 38. Overview of partners Water Footprint Network Partners by category XL company 30 Large company 10 Medium company 23 Small company 33 Government 10 International organisation 9 Academic Institute 29 Civil society / ngo 25www.waterfootprint.org
  39. 39. www.waterfootprint.org
  40. 40. www.waterfootprint.org
  41. 41. www.waterfootprint.org

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