Cattle Water

Though it’s not healthy food, Americans love steaks and burgers and consume lots of dairy. Their taste for beef and milk is draining the water supply.

“Human consumption of freshwater is now approaching or surpassing the rate at which water sources are being naturally replenished in many regions, creating water shortages,” warns American environmentalist Brian Richter. Irrigation of cattle-feed crops accounts for 32% of water use in the western United States and is the leading driver of water depletion in 1/3rd of the rivers there. The survival of river fish is imperiled by cattle.


Brian D. Richter et al, “Water scarcity and fish imperilment driven by beef production,” Nature Sustainability (2 March 2020).

How hunger for burgers and steaks is draining US rivers,” Nature (12 March 2020).