Water issue brings tears to our eyes

water_coverWe’ve had tremendous response to our “water issue,” published Dec. 31. We publish a special themed edition at every year’s end and this year’s topic was water. Subscribers have complimented us on the topic selection and content, asked for extra copies and suggested it be sent to schools and to politicians.
We are grateful for this feedback and pleased that so many people have taken the time to tell us their opinions. Of course, it didn’t take long for one of our readers to note an error in the map that ran on pages 4-5 and was repeated in smaller size on page 9. Although we had correctly labeled the Assiniboine River in Manitoba as No. 1, according to the accompanying key, we also affixed the number 1 to the South Saskatchewan River. The South Saskatchewan should have been labeled as No. 10. So, our faces were red over this error, the more so because the South Saskatchewan is an extremely important river, and it runs right through the home base of the Western Producer here in Saskatoon.
The Water Issue contained numerous facts and numbers relating to water use, many of them gathered by our editorial intern, Miranda Burski, who is now back at the University of Regina, toiling away on the final part of her program.
Here are a few of the compiled facts that didn’t make it into our water issue. I thought you might find them interesting.

It takes 100 to 125 millimetres of water to grow a wheat, barley or canola
crop from germination to the point where it reaches reproductive growth to produce grain. Source: Alberta Agriculture

It takes approximately 3.79 litres of water to process a quarter pound of hamburger. Source: Environmental Protection Agency

It takes approximately 15.14 litres of water to produced 3.79 litres of milk. Source: EPA

It takes approximately 378.54 litres of water to grow one watermelon. Source: EPA

Approximately 567.81 litres of water are used to grow and produce one loaf of bread. Source: EPA


Irrigation increases the yields of most crops 100 to 400 percent. Source: United Nations Water Statistics

Irrigated crops contribute to 40 percent of the world’s food production. Source: UNWS

The daily drinking requirement per person is 2.4 litres. Source: UNWS

It takes 11,000 litres of water to make a pair of jeans, including the water needed to grow the cotton. Source: Protected Water Fund


About the author

Barb Glen — Barb Glen, former Western Producer editor and current Lethbridge bureau editor and reporter, shares news and opinions from the world of agriculture.

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