Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

December 19, 2006

Michigan potatoes use 4x more water than Nestle’s Ice Mountain bottles

Filed under: Bottled Water,Water Diversion — nemo @ 2:07 pm

Michigan potatoe producers grew nearly 1.5 billion pounds of potatoes in 2000. That’s 33,000 truckloads of potatoes. Michigan is now tenth in the nation in potato production. This represents $103 million in sales for Michigan farms.

Potatoes are the largest vegetable crop in the state.

The average potato is 75 to 80 percent water.

Doing the math:

  • 1.5 billion pounds of potatoes
  • at 75% water content
  • means that 1,125 million gallons of water were in those spuds.

With much controversy, Nestlé is seeking state permission to pump 70 million more gallons of water from the headwaters of two trout streams; currently the company pumps 270 million gallons of water a year from underground springs and from the city of Evart’s municipal water system.

Source: Michigan Farm Bureau – Potato (pdf)

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