Agriculture / Animal Production / Environment / Event / Livestock-Water / Water

How much water is in the meat on your plate? Livestock live talk at ILRI on 7 February 2013

What is a ‘water footprint’ and why does it matter? How does the ‘livestock water footprint’ differ between developing and developed countries? These are some of the questions that Arjen Hoekstra, a renowned professor in water management from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, will attempt to answer when he gives a ‘livestock live talk’ seminar at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on 7 February  2013.

Hoekstra is making a three-day visit to Kenya in early February, during this time he will visit project sites, supervise students and give the talk at ILRI’s John Vercoe Auditorium. The talk will be livestreamed on the Internet.

Hoekstra is the creator of a water footprint concept and is credited with establishing the interdisciplinary research field of water footprint assessment. Water footprint research looks at the relationship between water use and management, consumption and trade. His publications include: Perspectives on Water (1998), Globalization of Water (2008), The Water Footprint Assessment Manual (2011) and The Water Footprint of Modern Consumer Society (2013).

Hoekstra says that increasing consumption of animal products is likely to put further pressure on the world’s freshwater resources and that nearly one-third of the total global water footprint of agriculture is related to the production of animal products. However, animal products from grazing systems have a smaller water footprint than products from industrial systems.

In his talk, Hoekstra will provide a comprehensive account of the water footprint of animal products in different production  feed compositions systems according to animal type and country.

‘Future water scarcity cannot be addressed without proper understanding of the relationship between livestock and the indirect use of water,’ he says.

The talk will be held at  ILRI Nairobi campus from 1500-1600 hours.

Join the live presentation of this seminar online:


Livestock live talks’ is a seminar series at ILRI that aims to address livestock-related issues, mobilize external as well as in-house expertise and audiences and engage the livestock community around interdisciplinary conversations that ask hard questions and seek to refine current research concepts and practices.

All ILRI staff, partners and donors, and interested outsiders are invited. Those non-staff who would want to come, please contact Angeline Nekesa at a.nekesa[at] (or via ILRI switchboard 020 422 3000) to let her know.

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