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Re: litres of water per lb of beef
> For beef, you could figure the number of lbs
> >of plant material to produce 1 lb of beef plus the water that the animal
> >consumed directly and add the two.
> Fred, if you're correct at 500 lb of water per
> lb of grain, the following guestimates could be
> 500 lbs of water for one lb of dry matter of grain.
> Guestimate conversion rate at 10:1 means
> each lb of steer consumes 5000 lbs of water
> "embodied" in its food. It would drink about
> (very, very roughly) 50,000 lbs of water in its short
> lifetime (and return most of it to the environment).
> 50 lbs water for per lb of meat for a 1000 lb steer.
> Allow half for the maintenance of the parents and you
> get 7525 lbs of water for each lb of meat produced.
> Or 7525 kg water for each kg of beef.
> 7525 litres of water for each kg of beef
> I have little idea what the dry matter
> equivalent of beef would be--10%? That would
> bring it to 75,250 litres, a figure in the same
> order of magnitude as the New Scientist figure.
> This doesn't take into account the relative
> nutitive value of beef and other foods.
> (Please don't flame me, they are all guesses ;-)
> Hope I didn't make any calculation errors).
> As stated in other posts, surely these statistics
> are thought provoking but without context.
> The relative use of water is only meaningful if
> there is a shortage of water, ie the water might
> be used for some other purpose. If the water cannot
> be effectively used for some other purpose it
> doesn't matter how much the steer consumes.
> (Yes, environment counts, that's another aspect
> of the issue).
> Feeding steers in a feedlost, (Fruedian typo)
> seems like a really poor use of the water embodied
> in the grain. Feedlot beef starts to seem like
> an incredible luxury, doesn't it?
> Jim Wright
> Box 129
> Lougheed Alberta Canada
> T0B 2V0
> 403 386-2479
Let's keep the numbers in perspective. It takes on the average around
150,000 liters to sustain the average US consumer in one years time ,too
; 10,500,000 liters for an average lifetime. The water that sustains
animal life is in no way lost nor rendered unusable except for short
periods of time.
In the case of humans or other animals they produce urine and fesces
that have intermediate beneficial uses if they're not sent to a
wastewater treatment plant. Perspiration and respiration from animals is
quickly recycled. At any given instant only small portion of the 100,000
liters are unavailable for other potential uses.
Believe me a California vegetable that is grown utilizing irrigation
water from from a reservoir like Lake Meade which looses hundreds of
thousand of gallons each and every hour to evaporation uses a hell of
alot more than 700 liters to produce a kilo of product. The figures may
be accurate and yet still are misleading in many contexts. The
hydrologic cycle doesn't short circuit from beef production. I don't
think the sky is falling.