Project

Tackling water use in contrasting livestock production systems: Interactions, trade-offs and opportunities across scales

PhD project by Ylva Ran. The competition for freshwater resources is rising and might cause conflicts between regions as well as between sectors. This study will investigate and elaborate linkages between livestock and freshwater resources use and connect these processes to the landscape.

There is a conflict between the present trend towards an increasing global demand for more animal foods and available water resources. A range of combinations and locations of animals and livestock systems translate to different types and scales of impacts on water resources and related ecosystem services. Global food production is roughly expected to double by 2050, and livestock production will stand for a considerable part of this increase.

Freshwater scarcity is already since decades a growing global concern. The competition for freshwater resources is rising and might cause conflicts between regions as well as between sectors, like industry, households and agriculture, both crop and livestock production.
Agriculture is the main pathway through which humans affect water resources and livestock production uses almost half of global water resources for food production.

This study will conceptually and empirically investigate and elaborate linkages between livestock and freshwater resources use, hereby referred to as consumptive water use or water use, and connect these processes to the landscape.

In short, this project aims to:
l ) Develop a framework to assess livestock consumptive water and associated impacts in the landscape
2) Investigate livestock productivity options for different production systems, resource constraints and pressures with regard to water resource use and availability
3) Study implications of global trade of feed and animal products on water and water related ecosystem services in the landscape