Lowering the water footprint of livestock products

Paul Karaimu at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) tells us that the ‘water footprint’ of livestock products is often higher than it needs to be. Water footprint is the volume of fresh water that is used to produce a commodity.

In the International Year of Water Cooperation, we’re thinking a lot about water. You might choose to follow my tag ‘water’ for more posts about this.

Dr Karaimu quotes Arjen Hoekstra, a professor in water management, showing a slideshow about the water footprint of livestock products (scroll down the ‘water footprint’ link to see it). Prof Hoekstra that animals raised in grazing and mixed systems have a much lower water footprint than those in industrialised farming systems.

But there’s room for improvement. According to Prof Hoekstra, ‘The efficiency of water use in smallholder livestock systems in Africa could be raised… [by] reducing levels of concentrate feed… raising more livestock in drylands unsuitable for crop farming, and greater cooperation between livestock sector players and water management experts.’

About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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