In a speech to the annual meeting of The American Association
for the Advancement of Science in 1981 Georg Borgstrom states
that 1 lb. of Beef requires 2500 Gals of water to produce,
which would roughly work out to 20,864 ltrs/kg. But I don't have
his source either.
In a more poetic way in a Newsweek article dated Feb 22, 1981
the author states that "the water that goes into a 1,000 pound
steer would float a destroyer."
This is really not that surprising when in the United States
over 70% of the grain produced by the agricultural sector is
fed to livestock, according to the World Bank in a publication
entitled "Poverty and Hunger"
What is, however, surprising is that if we take the number from
Judith Jones Putnam in "Food Consumption" from National Food
Review Nov. 20, 1990 which says that the average American eats
65 Lbs. of beef per year. That translates to a water usage of
162,500 gallons per person per year for beef consumption (using
the figure cited by Borgstrom) which in turn translates to
445 gallons per day per person which is utilized in production of
their beef. A scary number indeed, kind of makes the brick in
the toilet look a little silly.
D. Van Eeckhout