About 1,300 gallons, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That takes into account irrigation for the vegetation the cow eats, water for the cow to drink, for processing, and other factors.
A typical American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water a day, meanwhile (not counting the burgers ). The entire country consumes about 323 billion gallons per day of surface water and another 84.5 billion gallons of ground water .
Some scientists say that, like oil , water could become a flashpoint for future political conflicts and even war.