The Water Footprint Assessment Manual sets the standard

«The Water Footprint Assessment Manual: Setting the Global Standard» has just been published. The first Global Water Footprint Standard, a scientifically credible methodology that will make all water footprints comparable, clearly demonstrates how individuals, companies and nations can quantify their contribution to water use conflicts and environmental degradation in river basins around the world.

FootprintThe water footprint – the amount of freshwater used in the goods and services consumed or used in production – is helping companies to reduce water use where it is most wasteful, banks to assess water-related risks prior to making investments and governments to improve water management. Individuals can use the water footprint to understand how much water they are using through the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the consumer goods they buy. Changing to less water intensive products and choosing to buy goods from water rich areas or catchments that are sustainably managed will move them toward a sustainable water footprint.

»The water footprint of common products such as coffee can be surprising, for example it can take an average of 140 litres of water to produce each cup of coffee, but more importantly, the Global Water Footprint Standard helps us all know more about how much water we use, where it comes from and how we each can take steps to make our water footprint sustainable, to ensure that the world's people and natural ecosystems will have the freshwater necessary to thrive well into the future«, says Ruth Mathews, Executive Director of the Water Footprint Network.

Partners from business, civil society, government, global institutions and academic organizations are working with the Water Footprint Network to push for improvements in water use efficiency, pollution reduction and sustainable water management. As more pressure is put on freshwater resources, using the standard in all sectors and in all river basins will be increasingly important. The publication of this standard helps individuals, businesses and governments take steps toward a sustainable water footprint.

According to Professor A. Szöllösi-Nagy, Rector, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, »Forty years down the road we will have 9 billion humans living on the Earth. Nearly fifty per cent more than what we have today. The impact of any activity, be it economic or social, will have an unprecedented print on water. It is, therefore, critical that policy makers and the public, let alone the political community, are aware of what the water footprint is, how it is established and how it does evolve in time and space. This book is a must for all those who wish to understand why and how water became the single most important commodity humanity has. But most importantly, it also provides methodologies of comparing the footprint of our various actions in order to strive towards sustainable water use.«

The Water Footprint Assessment Manual: Setting the Global Standard has been developed through a joint effort of the Water Footprint Network, its 139 partners and scientists of the University of Twente in the Netherlands.


acrobat_icon The Water Footprint Assessment Manual

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The Water Footprint Assessment Manual: Setting the Global Standard