Industrial agriculture is among the leading causes of water pollution in the United States today. In the 2000 National Water Quality Inventory conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), agricultural activity was identified as a source of pollution for 48% of stream and river water, and for 41% of lake water.
Water pollution from industrial farms not only damages the environment and kills wildlife, but it can also sicken and kill people. And since these farms exercise little restraint when it comes to water usage, they tend to waste large quantities of water, even when neighboring communities are experiencing water shortages. Because small, sustainable farms are more integrated with their surrounding communities, they pay closer attention to the ways that they use water and how their practices affect local water supplies.