Wastewater and Water Recycling and Reuse

Goals

Gain an understanding of the size of the water recycling market in the US for the agriculture industry, as well as a broader understanding of waste water, and water recycling and reuse at companies and brands like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill, as well as smaller farms, including potential spend on clean water access, growth rates in the space, and standard practices around water use and treatment.

Early Findings

  • Agricultural use accounts for 70% of all water consumption worldwide.
  • In the next several decades, it is projected that their will be a need for a 50% increase in agricultural production, leading to a 15% increase in fresh water withdrawal demand for agriculture.
  • The total per capita water consumption in the US is 1,582.5 cubic meters.
  • Given the US population is 329 million, we can calculate that the annual water consumption is approximately 529 billion cubic meters, 364 billion cubic meters of which would be agricultural use. (Calculation: 1,582.5 x 329 million, 529 billion x 70%)
  • Key focuses in agricultural waste management include scale and management of large systems, whether they are communal or individually managed, infrastructure development and related institutional policies, and payment for infrastructure.
  • In high-income countries, agricultural pollution is the top source of water contamination in inland and coastal waters, with nitrate being the most common chemical contaminant.
  • In the US, agriculture is the top source of pollution in rivers and streams.
  • By 2050, the demand for water sources for agriculture is projected to increase 19% globally, specifically related to the growth of agriculture in highly irrigated areas.



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