Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How US industry uses scarce water resources

Date:
February 25, 2010
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Researchers are tracking how US industry uses scarce water resources. The study found it takes almost 270 gallons of water to produce a $1 worth of sugar; 140 gallons to make $1 worth of milk; and 200 gallons of water to make $1 worth of cat and dog food.

Just think, every time you feed Fido or flip a spoonful of sugar into your coffee cup, you use more than 300 gallons of water.

Related Articles


Checking the amounts of water it takes to make a $1 worth of sugar, cat and dog food or milk is part of a comprehensive study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers to document American industry's thirst for this scarce resource.

Chris T. Hendrickson, the Duquesne Light Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said the study shows that most water use by industry occurs indirectly as a result of processing, such as packaging and shipping of food crops to the supermarket, rather than direct use, like watering crops.

The study found it takes almost 270 gallons of water to produce a $1 worth of sugar; 140 gallons to make $1 worth of milk; and 200 gallons of water to make $1 worth of cat and dog food.

"The study gives us a way to look at how we might use water more efficiently and allows us to hone in on the sectors that use the most water so we can start generating ideas and technologies for better management," said Hendrickson, co-director of Carnegie Mellon's Green Design Institute, a major interdisciplinary research effort aimed at making an impact on environmental quality through design.

Hendrickson, along with civil engineering Ph.D. candidates Michael Blackhurst and Jordi Vidal, said his team is trying to help industries track and make better management decisions about how they use water, which makes up more than 72 percent of the earth's land surface.

The study, featured in the Feb. 23 edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology, reports that a lot of water consumption is hidden because companies don't use all the water directly.

"We discovered that among 96 percent of the sectors evaluated, indirect use exceeded direct uses throughout the supply chain," Hendrickson said.

But Hendrickson and Blackhurst are quick to report that their data are national findings and do not apply regionally. In addition, they could only track withdrawals, and were unable to determine how much water was returned to the system or recycled.

"That is a big deal because water that gets degraded during industrial processes might not be suitable for future uses," Hendrickson said. "Effective water management is critical for social welfare and our fragile ecosystems."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "How US industry uses scarce water resources." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225140908.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2010, February 25). How US industry uses scarce water resources. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225140908.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "How US industry uses scarce water resources." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225140908.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins