A recent analysis published in Nature found cattle to be one of the major drivers of water shortages. Across the United States, cattle-feed crops such as alfalfa and hay account for 23 percent of all water consumption, according to the report. In the Colorado River Basin, that amount is over 50 percent.
According to Brian Richter, the study’s lead author and the president of Sustainable Waters, one of the most cost-effective solutions to protecting water resources is fallowing farmland. This would mean that farmland would sit idle without irrigation for certain periods. Richter’s analysis claims that fallowing is at least twice as effective as other water-saving tactics.
Read more in this article from The Guardian.