Estimates vary, but data from the Water Footprint Network suggests that the annual water footprint of the average American consumer is more than 750,000 gallons per year, nearly 60 percent of which is used in the production of our food. America’s startlingly high water footprint is primarily due to high per capita consumption of meat and industrial products.
According to the Water Footprint Network, it requires about 1,799 gallons to produce one pound of beef, 468 gallons per pound of chicken, 576 gallons per pound of pork, and 880 gallons per gallon of milk. Copious volumes of water are needed to grow feed for animals, and then additional water is used to care for animals, process meat, and distribute and sell animal products. By contrast, raising fruit, vegetables, and grains requires a fraction of the water. Carrots require only 6.5 gallons of water per pound; apples, nearly 100 gallons per pound; peas, 10.2 gallons per pound; blueberries, 13.8 gallons per cup; and potatoes, 119 gallons per pound.
By avoiding red meat for two days this week, you can reduce your water footprint by about 953 gallons. By continuing this practice, you can save nearly 50,000 gallons of water in a year.
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See introductory information on the Taking on Water Challenge: Reduce your Water Footprint here. To enter to win the Taking on Water Challenge, pledge to decrease your water footprint by leaving a comment.
Full official contest rules and guidelines are here. Contest begins January 29, 2013. Entries must be received no later than March 11, 2013, 11:59:59 PM Pacific Time.
• Enter for the chance to win a copy of Taking on Water and a water reduction kit for your home (Approximate Retail Value $130).
• No purchase necessary.
• Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, ages 18 or older.
• Contest begins January 29, 2013. Entries must be received no later than March 11, 2013, 11:59:59 PM Pacific Time.
• The winner will be selected on or about March 15, 2013.
• Void where prohibited by law.
Entries must be made in the comments section on Wendy Pabich’s blog, www.waterdeva.com. Entries must include the following (Incomplete entries will not be considered):
▪ Name (first and last)
▪ Email Address
▪ A brief comment pledging to decrease your water footprint
Optional: A link to a blog post or photograph can be included, but is not necessary for entry.