We all know about the horrible drought facing California. Local governments all over that great state are enforcing ordinances about using sprinklers, communities are sharing tips and guidelines on reducing water use around the house, and people all over the country are pointing at green lawns and golf courses while shaking their heads at the waste. However, direct use of water in California (toilets, sinks, sprinklers, etc) only makes us 4% of the state’s water use. So while the average person thinks they are doing their part by flushing the toilet less and taking shorter showers, it actually won’t put much of a dent on the state’s overall water use.
What will? Most people in the United States are not going to like the answer. Eat less meat. The cattle market in California alone uses up almost 50% of the states water use. HALF. For one ounce of beef, it takes over 106 gallons of water to produce. That’s 66 flushes of a standard toilet. 6 showers. For ONE OUNCE of beef.
The meat industry in general takes up a lot of water to produce. Below is a very handy chart that shows how many gallons of water is needed to produce one ounce of food. The top two? Beef and Lamb. If we want to be serious about conserving water and avoiding these droughts, we need to stop eating so much beef in this country.
I commend people for being more conscious of their water use, and communities for putting in measures to help us conserve this precious resource. But if we really want to make a change and put a real dent in our water use, we need to reevaluate our dieting habits. If everyone in this country ate one less beef-related dish each week, we’d save 135,213,600,000 gallons of water. In one week. Let’s all pledge to eat less beef – maybe join in on meatless Mondays – and help avoid these horrendous droughts.
Eat less almonds (it takes 1.1 gallons of water per almond, that’s right one almond) Plus almonds do not grow in CA naturally and CA grows 99% of our almonds.