Re: Water for food-A reply from Bayliss
The original article in Bioscience (American Institute of Biological
Sciences), is by David Pimental (Professor) and James Houser, Erika
Preiss, Omar White, Hope Fang, Leslie Mesnick, Troy Barsky, Stephanie
Tariche, Jerrod Schreck and Sharon Alpert (graduate students), at the
College of Agricultue and Life Sciences, Cornell University. The article
is entitled "Water Resources: Agriculture, the Environment, and Society:
An assessment of the status of water resources". The sources for the
data on estimated litres required to produce food and forage crops
(water for food), are varied, but they all seem impeccable and
authoritative publications (including some USDA statistics.)
Regarding livestock production, the authors quote a study by Pimental to
show that producing 1kg of animal protein requires 100 times more water
than for 1 kg of vegetable protein. The following are some info from the
"Livestock directly 1.3% of the total water used in agriculture in the
US. But, including the water required for forage and grain production
greatly inceases this figure.
Producing 1kg of beef requires 100,000 litres of water to produce
approx. 100kg of plant biomass plus 5400 litres to produce 4kg of grain.
On rangeland, more than 200 000 litres of water are required to produce
1 kg of beef."
Hope this was useful.
Socioeconomics and Policy Division
International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics
Patancheru, Andhra Pradesh, 502324, India
----Original Message Follows----
Friends and colleagues,
In reply to my request for more information on the source of the
water for food figures, Robert Bayliss offered the following:
From: ROBERT BAYLIS <Baylis@cardiff.ac.uk>
To: "Douglas B. Johnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 17:21:11 GMT
Subject: Re: Water
Dear Douglas B. Johnson
>> Recently, I forwarded your post on "water for food" to a
listserve, >> "Sustainable Agriculture Network." As you can see from the
response below, >> some members of the list are skeptical of the data.
Can you provide us with >> more information on the study that generated
the reported figures?
>I had hoped to get you the precise citation on which the New
>Scientist report was based. Unfortunately, our library does not
>have it. The New Scientist article is >on page 7 of the 1 February
1997 edition. It is written by Fred >Pearce and is entitled "Thirsty
meals that suck the world dry." It >is a report on a publication by
David Pimentel, a water resource >specialist at Cornell University in
Ithaca, USA and published in the >February issue of Bioscience (not
Bioscience Reports which we do have >in our library - I checked it).
Does anybody on the list have access to either the British publication,
"The New Scientist," or the February issue of Bioscience. How about the
Cornell folks...any familiarity with the data as presented by Pimental?
Douglas B. Johnson, Ph.D.
Outreach Specialist, Quality of Life Project
CSARE (Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
c/o CIAS (Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1450 Linden Drive, Room 146
Madison, WI 53706
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