- The average Australian eats 70Kg of meat per year. This takes 3 Million Litres of water to produce annually.
- 41500 litres to produce 1 Kg of meat (according to http://www.savewater.com.au). This is roughly equivalent to the savings of installing dual flush toilets in a home (for an entire year!)
- 24 Teralitres (24 x 10^12) of fresh water are used in Australia each year. 70% for agricultural irrigation, 9% for other rural uses, 9% for industrial use, 12% for domestic use. Savings must be made in the biggest areas, agriculture and rural use. The impacts of excess water consumption include:
- The need to build more dams. This has severe environmental effects such as destruction of wilderness, creation of greenhouse gases from rotting vegetation, reduced streamflows and degraded ecological health. Its also very costly!
- Maintaining other infrastructure for water supply and use. This includes costly upgrades and maintenance of pipes, sewers and treatment facilities. One metre of stormwater drain costs about $2000 to install
- Erosion, salinity and desertification. Water consumption for agriculture alters the natural water cycle in many areas of Australia. This degrades production areas and exacerbates other environmental problems such as landclearing and desertification. Salinity is said to directly cost Australia over 1.5 Billion dollars a year, but true figures are probably a lot higher than this.
- Degradation of water bodies. Many of our rivers, wetlands and bays are degraded. This is partly due to the high levels of water extracted, as well as polluted surface runoff and stormwater flushed into them.
- Animals trample river edges and destroy natural river systems, resulting in increased stream sediment and suspended material and a loss of stream habitat values
- Animal feedlotting and dairying flush manure and whey into rivers
- Parasites in rivers
- Overuse of aquifers to feed stock will dry them out, contributing to desertification
References for the Arguements
- Online - Green Home Guide
- Online - Green Home Guide. Dual Flush Toilet Fixtures, Field Studies and Water Savings, John Koeller P.E.