The water footprint of peanuts

bags of peanuts in front of peanut fieldCanadians are fortunate to live with an abundance of freshwater resources, yet we still need to make good food choices to protect this incredibly precious global resource. Pressure on water resources can negatively impact human and environmental health and cause a host of environmental issues, like loss of waterbodies including lakes and rivers, elevated quantities of natural and human pollutants and more. In countries like Canada and the U.S., the agriculture sector can account for nearly 80% of water consumption. Fortunately, consumers can choose foods like peanuts, which are not only the most water-efficient of all nuts, but the role they play in North American diets, could increase substantially as more costly agriculture is replaced by more water-efficient plants.

  • U.S. peanuts use only 3.2 gallons of water to produce 1 ounce, compared to some other nuts, which can use up to 28.7 gallons per ounce
  • Worldwide peanut production contributes to just 1% of the global water footprint, the measure of water used to produce goods and services
  • There are about 50% more peanuts produced today with fewer inputs, including irrigation, than 10 years ago

Information provided by the National Peanut Board