how much water does agriculture use globally




How can water be used wisely in agriculture?

 · In most cases, such reallocation is expected to come from agriculture due to its high share of water use. Currently, agriculture accounts (on average) for 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals globally (and an even higher share of “consumptive water use” due to the evapotranspiration of crops).

Is the biggest use of water for agriculture?

 · In most regions of the world, over 70 percent of freshwater is used for agriculture. By 2050, feeding a planet of 9 billion people will require an estimated 50 percent increase in agricultural production and a 15 percent increase in water withdrawals. Water Africa East Asia and Pacific Europe and Central Asia Latin America & Caribbean

Does agriculture use large amounts of water for irrigation?

 · As previously mentioned, 70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture annually. That’s over 2 quadrillion gallons of water, enough to cover the entire United States in 2 feet of water. To understand how we use most of this precious resource we need to understand how it is allocated. Livestock

How much water is in 1 hectare for agriculture?

Agriculture is a significant water user in Europe, accounting for around 33% of total water use. This share varies markedly, however, and can reach up to 80% in parts of southern Europe, where irrigation of crops accounts for virtually all agricultural water use. Towards efficient use of water resources in Europe.


How much water does the agriculture industry use globally?

Globally we use approximately 70 percent of freshwater withdrawals for agriculture. However, this share varies significantly by country – as shown in the chart, which measures the percentage of total freshwater withdrawals used for agriculture.

How much water is used for agriculture purposes?

While 2 litres of water are often sufficient for daily drinking, it takes about 3,000 litres to produce the daily food needs of one person. Around 70 percent of freshwater withdrawals go into agriculture.

How much water is used for agriculture in developing countries?

Agriculture is the largest water user worldwide, accounting for 70 percent of total freshwater withdrawals on average3 – but these amounts can reach as much as 95 percent in some developing countries.

What uses the most water worldwide?

agricultureThe biggest piece of the pie, it turns out, is agriculture. Irrigating crops takes a lot of water— we’re talking 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals according to The World Bank.

What industry uses the most water globally?

Agriculture. 70% of the world’s freshwater is used for agriculture. In Europe, this sector requires 44% of freshwater resources. This is due to agriculture’s water use for irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide application, crop cooling, and frost control.

Why agriculture is such a large user of water?

Water is used in agriculture to grow grass and crops, to support livestock and for general on-farm use (such as cleaning, sanitation, crop spraying).

Why is agriculture such a huge user of water?

The use of agricultural water makes it possible to grow fruits and vegetables and raise livestock, which is a main part of our diet. Agricultural water is used for irrigation, pesticide and fertilizer applications , crop cooling (for example, light irrigation), and frost control.

How much water do farmers use a day?

It’s estimated that this part of the process uses around 70 litres per cow per day, as well. That adds up to a whole lot of water consumption – and that’s only for those farms where cows are present.


How much water is used for agriculture?

As previously mentioned, 70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture annually. That’s over 2 quadrillion gallons of water, enough to cover the entire United States in 2 feet of water. To understand how we use most of this precious resource we need to understand how it is allocated. Farming livestock requires a considerable amount …

How can farmers use water?

Through the process of drip irrigation farmers can supply water directly to the roots of their crops rather than sprinkling the water on top. Through properly installed drip irrigation systems, farmers can save up to 80% more water than standard sprinkler irrigation systems. Additionally, by creating ponds and reservoirs, farmers can draw their supply from there, taking the pressure off of local watersheds.

What happens to water that would otherwise be utilized elsewhere?

This water that would otherwise be utilized elsewhere, is now put back into the environment where it will need to be reacquired and distributed, thus wasting time, energy, and money .

Why do plants need water?

Plants require consistent amounts of water everyday to take their life cycle from seed all the way to harvest. Another reason why farming produce requires such a large percentage of water when compared to farming livestock due to a large amount of the water being wasted through irrigation.

How much water is needed to grow a pound of coffee?

For example, to grow one pound of coffee 2,500 gallons of water will be used.

How much water does a cow need to be fed?

The water intensive form of farming livestock is dairy farming. For just one milking cow, daily water usage is roughly 40-50 gallons when accounting for basic consumption and hygiene.

How much water is lost to the environment?

On average, farms around the world account for 70% of all water that is consumed annually. Of that 70% used by farmers, 40% is lost to the environment due to poor irrigation systems, evaporation, and overall poor water management. As the world continues to increase in population, demand for food and water will continue to rise.

How much water will be consumed by agriculture in 2050?

Future global agricultural water consumption (including both rainfed and irrigated agriculture) is estimated to increase by about 19% to 8,515 km 3 per year by 2050.

Where is water most important for agriculture?

In most countries water for cities receives priority over wa­ter for agriculture by law or de facto, leaving less water for agriculture, particularly near large cities in water-short areas, such as Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia, India, Pakistan, Mexico, and northern China.

How much of the world’s food is irrigated?

Irrigation provides approximately 40% of the world’s food, from an estimated 20% of agricultural land, or about 300 million hectares globally. Almost half of the total area being irrigated worldwide is located in Pakistan, China and India, and covers 80%, 35% and 34% of the cultivated area respectively.

How much will water demand increase in 2050?

European Environment Agency, 2012. According to the OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050, global water demand will increase by 55% due to growing demand from manufacturing (+400%), thermal power plants (+140%) and domestic use (+130%).

How many dead zones are there in the world?

Worldwide there are now more than 500 “dead zones” covering 250,000 km 2, with the number doubling every ten years since the 1960s.

How many people will live in areas where water is under pressure?

A combination of rising global population, economic growth and climate change means that by 2050 five billion (52%) of the world’s projected 9.7 billion people will live in areas where fresh water supply is under pressure.

How many people do not have access to water?

Some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, do not have access to safe, readily available water at home, with 844 million of them lacking even a basic drinking water service. 159 million people still drink untreated water from surface water sources, such as streams or lakes, 58% them living in sub-Saharan Africa. 4.5 billion people still lack safely managed sanitation services. This includes 892 million people – mostly in rural areas – who defecate in the open.

How does agriculture affect water?

Agriculture both contributes to and faces water risks. For as much as agriculture is impacted by these changes, it also contributes to the problem as a major user and polluter of water resources in many regions. As such, agriculture has a central role to play in addressing these challenges. Irrigated agriculture remains the largest user …

How can agriculture be more sustainable?

In order to facilitate a transition to a more sustainable and productive agricultural sector that is resilient to water risks, governments should act at the farm, watershed and national levels to (1) strengthen and enforce existing water regulations, (2) create incentives for farmers to improve their water use and better manage the use of polluting agricultural inputs; and (3) remove policies that support excessive use of water and polluting activities.

What is the OECD’s action plan for food and water security?

The OECD also supported efforts in the G20 by Agriculture Ministers to adopt a declaration and action plan entitled “ Towards food and water security: Fostering sustainability, advancing innovation ” in 2017, which includes a number of significant commitments to improve agriculture’s water use, limit its impact on water quality, and reduce its exposure to water risks.

What is the role of OECD indicators in agriculture?

To assist policy makers in addressing this challenge, OECD analysis and indicators contribute to formulating policy responses, defining pathways to make the necessary policy changes, and facilitating their implementation to move agriculture towards the sustainable management of water. OECD’s work on agriculture and water is also highlighted in the 2016 OECD Council Recommendation on Water.

What are the main sources of water pollution?

In addition, agriculture remains a major source of water pollution; agricultural fertiliser run-off, pesticide use and livestock effluents all contribute to the pollution of waterways and groundwater.

Which is the largest user of water?

Irrigated agriculture remains the largest user of water globally, a trend encouraged by the fact that farmers in most countries do not pay for the full cost of the water they use. Agriculture irrigation accounts for 70% of water use worldwide and over 40% in many OECD countries.

Which countries are most affected by water hotspots?

An OECD assessment of future water risk hotspots projects that without further action, Northeast China, Northwest India, and the Southwest United States will be among the most severely affected regions, with domestic and global repercussions.

What is the largest share of the nation’s consumptive water use?

Irrigated agriculture , which accounts for the largest share of the Nation’s consumptive water use ( see definitions ), makes a significant contribution to the value of U.S. agricultural production. In 2012, irrigated farms accounted for roughly half of the total value of crop sales on 28 percent of U.S. harvested cropland.

How much money was spent on irrigation in 2013?

Approximately $2.64 billion was spent on irrigation facilities and equipment on U.S. farms in 2013. About 72 percent ($1.91 billion) of these investments were on land in the West, where most of the Nation’s irrigated land is concentrated. The majority of U.S. irrigation investment is financed privately.

What is annual crop consumptive use?

Annual crop consumptive-use estimates refer to the quantity of water actually consumed (taken up) by the crop plant over its various crop-growth stages for crop retention and evapotranspiration. Withdrawal estimates generally reflect diversion system conveyance losses, while estimates of field water applied do not.

What is water use estimate?

U.S. Geological Survey water use estimates generally refer to withdrawals, or the quantity of water withdrawn from a water source —e.g., a river, lake, or aquifer.

What states have irrigated acres?

Contractions in State-level irrigated acreage exceeded 10 percent in Texas, Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. In recent decades, much of the expansion in irrigated acreage has occurred in the more humid Eastern States.

How many acres of land were irrigated in 2012?

Roughly 56 million acres—or 7.6 percent of all U.S. cropland and pastureland—were irrigated in 2012. Nearly three-quarters of irrigated acres are in the 17 western-most contiguous States (referred to as the Western States hereafter).

Why is irrigation important?

The efficiency of irrigation systems is particularly important in the arid Western States where water demand for agriculture is greatest, and where increases in competing demands and climate change impacts are expected to affect future water supplies for agriculture.

What percentage of land is used for agriculture?

Half of all habitable land is used for agriculture. 2. This leaves only 37% for forests; 11% as shrubs and grasslands; 1% as freshwater coverage; and the remaining 1% – a much smaller share than many suspect – is built-up urban area which includes cities, towns, villages, roads and other human infrastructure.

What are the two main uses of agricultural land?

There are two main uses of agricultural land: arable farming (which is land dedicated to growing crops), and pastureland ( which includes meadows and pastures used for livestock rearing). In the chart here we see a global map of land used for arable agriculture (as a share of total land area).

What is the agricultural area?

The agricultural area is the sum of arable land, permanent crops, permanent meadows and pastures.

How much land is there in the world?

The Land Area of the World is 13,003 million ha. 4,889 million ha are classified as ‘agricultural area’ by the FAO (this is 37.6% of the Land Area).

What percentage of land is used for livestock grazing?

For most countries, land dedicated to cropland is typically below 20 percent , with many countries dedicating less than 10 percent. There are some notable exceptions, however; countries in South Asia and Europe allocate a large share of land area to arable farming. India, Bangladesh, Ukraine and Denmark all dedicated more than half of total land area to cropland in 2015.

What is cropland measured in?

This visualisation shows total cropland (which does not include land for grazing) over the long-term, measured in hectares.

What would fit into an area the size of Libya?

total build-up land (villages, towns, cities & infrastructure) would fit into an area the size of Libya;

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