NZ Dairy Farms Use As Much Water As 60 Million People

New Zealand’s dairy industry uses more water than every person in Sydney, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Jakarta, and New York City combined.


Analysts in New Zealand released calculations that the country’s dairy farms use as much water as 60 million people per year. “There’s an issue here with how we’ve gone and used our land,” agricultural economist Peter Fraser said. “That’s a hell of a lot of water. We’ve just got to put into perspective how much water some of these mega farms are actually using.” While water usage per individual varies worldwide, people in the Wellington region of New Zealand use an average of 80 cubic meters (21,134 gallons) per annum—which means that the country’s 2,000 irrigated dairy farms use 4.65 billion cubic meters (approximately 1 trillion gallons) of water annually. Officials are currently proposing a water tax on farmers to offset their disproportionate use of the country’s resources.

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