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Danish Livestock Need Most Water in EU

04 October 2013

EU – Over a quarter of Denmark’s total national water use is taken by livestock, a Joint Research Centre study shows.

This is according to European Commission scientists who have mapped data across the European continent.

Daily water usage data has revealed that 179 million cubic metres of water is used in Danish livestock farming each year, almost the same used in irrigation.

High usage volumes were also found in Belgium, the Netherlands and northwest France.

The project, run as part of the EU’s blueprint to safeguard water quality, demonstrated the huge dependence dairying areas of the EU have on water.

Overall estimations on water use have been processed via hydrological modelling. The researchers believe this to have a number of beneficial outcomes.

An EU spokesperson said: “These maps can feed into specialised hydrological models such as LISFLOOD4 to estimate overall water demands and contribute to the water accounting exercise for the EU’s blueprint and also for the EU's Biodiversity Strategy.

“Since the data are represented at a regional level, they can also provide useful information for national and local water management to target areas where water demand by livestock is high.

“The model used by the study can also forecast water demand allowing decision-makers to evaluate policy scenarios to address future water issues.”

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