|>>|| No. 4525
The figures are almost certainly based on American beef production, for cows living in arid areas who have to be provided with a lot of drinking water, and will be fed almost solely on maize and other grains which have been grown in arid areas requiring intensive irrigation.
The water footprint of English cattle would be much smaller. If I've done my maths right, the figures for English beef given by >>4519 are actually worse, somewhere around 4000-5000 litres of water assuming a quarter-pound burger, but note that this figure is including water that falls as rain onto grass.
The UK doesn't have a major water problem, in this decade it wouldn't take much extra investment for us to be completely drought resilient, but looking ahead several decades we do really need to invest a bit more in new reservoirs and reduce our reliance on ground-water.
On the other hand, a lot of countries around the world have serious issues. A lot of states in America are relying on water from confined aquifers which take hundreds of years to recover to pre-drilling levels. They are for all intents and purpose a limited resource and they're on a verge of a real catastrophe.