A response to the Christchurch City Council regarding water usage and the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment.

Shorter showers, and not washing your car so much saves a tiny amount of water in the scheme of things, the major contributor to this problem is animal agriculture.

“The best global estimate of the total water needed (green + blue + grey) to produce a litre of milk is about 1020 litres.” Think about how much water that is for ONE litre of milk compared to how much water the is used in the average shower of 65.1 litres and lasts for 8.2 minutes (of course this will vary given the flow of differing shower heads and the like, but even if you took shower and used 100 litres, it still takes TEN times more to make just one litre of milk.

“The single biggest consumer of water in New Zealand is the dairy industry. As of 2010, farmers are permitted to take about 4707 million m3 of water per year from New Zealand’s rivers and aquifers to irrigate pasture, most of which is for dairying. This is 44% of all consumptive uses (excluding the Manapouri hydropower scheme), and 68% of this water is allocated in Canterbury alone (21% in Otago).”

( Link for the above quotes: http://sciblogs.co.nz/…/how-much-water-does-it-take-to-pro…/ )

Even though farming is generally allocated a large amount of water to use (in case of variations of drought and the like) some still choose to defy the regulations and illegally take more than they should and the Canterbury region seems to be the worst for this.

“Elsewhere in New Zealand abatement notices are taken very seriously. However, in Canterbury irrigators seem to be able to be ignore them with impunity.”

“In one example, a Mackenzie district farm had been caught taking too much water three years in a row.”

“Another farm recorded illegally taking 31 million litres of water over 42 days, almost entirely during low-flow restrictions. “

( Link to the above quotes: http://www.stuff.co.nz/…/Millions-of-litres-of-water-illega… )

Of course vegetables take water to grow also, but if you look at the figures in the below quote, it takes 46 times the amount of water for 1kg of beef compared to 1kg of vegetables.

“The water waste issue is not just milk either — almost all animal products require a huge amount of water to produce. To produce one kilogram of beef requires a shocking 15,000 litres of water. Pig meat and butter both require 5,500–6,000 litres, and even eggs take a hefty 3,000 litres per kilogram. By comparison, vegetables require just 322 litres.”

As well as animal agriculture using too much water, it is also dire in terms of pollution and is the main reason that many of our rivers are now grossly polluted.

“New Zealand has built it’s dairy industry on the systematic waste of millions of litres of water and returns it to the environment in a polluted form. This is not sustainable long term, and it is not aligned with the clean, green New Zealand image that we want to convey internationally.”

(Link: http://www.vegans.co.nz/…/1000-litres-of-water-to-make-1-l…/ )

I mean, definitely try to save water where you can, but if you are having short showers, not washing your car or watering your lawn as often while at the same time consuming meat and dairy, then the evidence shows that you are in fact contributing to the increase of water consumption meanwhile thinking that you are helping out. Misinformation from the CCC on the matter of water usage is actually pretty disgusting and is in fact a manipulation of the people that have not yet considered how much water dairy and meat uses, yet believe that they are doing something to help.