16 Feb '12, 5pm

Agriculture consumes 92% of freshwater used globally. @rachelcernansky walks through an important new #water study.

Agriculture consumes 92% of freshwater used globally. @rachelcernansky walks through an important new #water study.

© Hoekstra and Mekonnen/PNAS 2012 It's no secret that water scarcity is a serious and growing problem . But where exactly does it all go? A new study out of the Netherlands' University of Twente seeks to answer just that question, and has been referred to as the most comprehensive analysis of global water use to date. The researchers analyzed the quantity and distribution of global water use from 1996 to 2005, and produced three major findings: 1. Agriculture accounts for 92 percent of all freshwater use globally. Specifically, water-intensive cereal grains like wheat, rice and corn account for 27 percent; meat production 22 percent; and dairy 7 percent. 2. Arid countries are relying more and more on water from other countries without even realizing—consuming what the researchers call "virtual water." 3. Three countries are responsible for nearly 38 percent of global water...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/agricul...

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