The Last Drop


This New Yorker article is damn relevant to our decisions about water usage, in the garden orSprinkler_1 anywhere.  Items:

  • Nearly half the people in the world don’t have the kind of clean water and sanitation services that were available 2,000 years ago to the citizens of ancient Rome.
  • Simply providing access to clean water could save 2 million lives each year.
  • It takes 15 times more water to grow cows as it does to grow grain; 1,300 gallons to produce a single hamburger, double that for a steak.
  • A typical cup of coffee requires 140 litres of water to produce, mainly in growing the coffee plant.

And because we love controversy here at GardenRant, this last thought-provoker:  "Although genetically modified crops remain controversial, researchers have produced several strains of rice that require only a fraction of the water most rice farmers use today."


  1. I read the article, very thought provoking (understatement, there).

    I won’t even begin to pretend I am qualified to enter a debate on “genetically modified crops” vs. “use of water”. There is good in all things, bad in all things.

  2. This is a difficult issues – the gen. public does not realize that recyclicing has its costs — the glass bottle has to be sanitized for re-use and that takes electricity, manpower, and water. Is it the same amount of resource as manufacturing a new bottle? No. But it also is not ‘free.’ I don’t think green groups do a good job in educating in that process – probably on purpose – it cuts into some of their arguement. The better educated we are on ALL the costs involved – the better decisions we can make as consumers and home gardeners.
    For me a rain barrel is a great example of direct re-use at virtually no cost to the user and is a plus for the environment. Every garden should have at least one.

Comments are closed.