Water shortage forces world to become vegetarians, scientists predict

Swedish institute says there won’t be enough water to produce animal-based products by 2050.

By Becky Schilling, Editor

Water seems to be everywhere in the news lately. Isaac is slamming the Gulf, while 65% of the country is experiencing drought conditions. Then I came across this article in which the Stockholm International Water Institute predicted the world’s population might be forced to become vegetarian by 2050.

The gist behind the institute’s prediction is that there won’t be enough water to maintain our agriculture needs in the future.

“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,” the institute said.

The article continues: "A move towards vegetarian diets could help free up large portions of arable land to human food production," Orion Jones wrote on BigThink.com. "A third of current farmland is used to grow crops that feed animals. Additionally 'animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet.'"

While I doubt this prediction will come true, it brings up a good point about the need to recognize how our actions today affect the world’s environmental health. In our October issue we will share the results of our fourth annual Environmental Study. Sixty-eight percent of respondents in our survey said they conserve water in their personal lives to try to help the environment. Twenty-six percent have installed water-flow restrictors in their operations.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the water/vegetarian prediction and what you’re doing in your operation to conserve water. Send me your thought at bschilling@cspnet.com or respond in the comments section below.

Keywords: 
sustainability