Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mathematical Niceness...

As I seem to be in a number headspace over the last few days...

These are all a bit open source so keep that in mind.

If we assume that it takes approximately 100,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef (1) and the average Australian consumes 35.6kg of beef (as part of 49.7kg of red meat in general (2)) per year we can equate that to the Australian population (3) consuming 760 million kg of beef or 776,000 billion litres of water.... likely in the form of nasty sausages.

The beef industry claims to produce a total of 2.1 billion kg of beef and exports 67% of production each year so the 760 million kg marries up.

It does however breakdown in that none of the total Australia water consumption numbers comes close to the 776,000 billion litres that 'should' be somewhere in the data. According to the Government water authority only 79,784 billion is actually 'extracted' each year from the environment.

Anyway... back to the point of all this running around... we were talking tonight about how a 15% reduction in red meat consumption (approx. 1 night 'less' per week) might affect the various numbers.

The average Perth-ite 'officially' uses 264 litres of water each day (4) but if they are each consuming their allocated 'proportion' of beef, they are using an extra 9,750 litres per day to keep up with the Jones.

A 15% reduction would equate to saving 1,000 litres per person per day. It does tend to put water restrictions and Sam Neil's daggy dancing into perspective.

(1) David Pimentel, Cornel University.
(2) Meat and Livestock Australia:
(3) Australian Population is currently 21,374,000: World Bank.
(4) Water Corporation:

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