Are we using less water?

A new study shows that between 1995 and 2010, water use in the United States for agriculture decreased.

According to the University of Illinois, water use in the United States for agriculture decreased for most crops and livestock production over a 15-year period..

The University of Illinois study looked at water withdrawals in U.S. agriculture and food production from 1995 to 2010.

“Overall, the use of water for irrigation decreased by 8.3% over this period,” says Sandy Dall’erba, regional economist at the university and co-author on the study. According to Dall’erba, a number of drivers contributed to reduced water use in grains, fruits and vegetables, namely improved irrigation systems, domestic per-capita income and sales to the food processing industry.


The study report also noted that oil crops have experienced a 98% increase in water demand over the period. The change is primarily driven by international supply-chain linkages. It means foreign companies, mostly in China, have purchased large amounts of U.S. oilseed crops for further processing.




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