Inquiries:
info@deiso.co.jp.
Tel: 03-5403-6479 (Japanese)
Tel: +1-361-298-0005 (English)
Fax: 0488-72-6373
Business Hours:

Monday-Friday 9:00-17:30 JST
Except Japanese national holidays.
Back

What is Water Footprint, and How to Measure it?

Table of Contents

Introduction

Water is a vital resource for life, and its availability and quality are essential for economic growth and the welfare of people. It is crucial to comprehend how much water is being used and where it comes from as the demand for water rises due to population development, industrialization, and irrigation. The quantity of water needed to generate a good or service is measured by the “water footprint.” The green water footprint, the blue water footprint, and the gray water footprint make up this total. The gray water footprint calculates the quantity of polluted water discharged from production. The blue water footprint calculates the surface and groundwater utilized for production. The green water footprint calculates the amount of rainfall used for irrigation. The water footprint, its elements, and its significance in comprehending the water problem will all be covered in this article.

 

What Does "Water Footprint" Mean?

The water footprint quantifies the amount of water required to provide a commodity or service. It estimates how much water is utilized by a certain person, organization, or region. This sum includes the green water footprint, blue water footprint, and gray water footprint.

 

Green Water Footprint

The quantity of rainwater utilized for crop irrigation and production is known as the “green water footprint.” It is expressed in cubic meters per year and square meters. Since green water is the main water supply for agriculture, it is the most significant part of the water footprint. As the water evaporates from the soil or plants and is not visible, the water footprint is also the least noticeable.

 

Blue Water Footprint

The quantity of surface and groundwater required for production is known as the “blue water footprint.” It is expressed in cubic meters per year and square meters. It encompasses groundwaters, aquifers, and surface water, like rivers, streams, and lakes. Bluewater is significant since it is the water that people and businesses utilize most frequently.

 

Gray Water Footprint

The quantity of contaminated water released from manufacturing is known as the gray water footprint. Each square foot is expressed in kilos per year. It includes water that chemicals or other industrial contaminants have tainted. Since the eye can see water, the part of the water footprint is most evident.

 

Apparent Water Footprint's Value

An essential tool for comprehending the water situation is the water footprint. It measures how much water is used by various people, businesses, and geographical areas. We can better understand water sources and how to manage them sustainably by being aware of how much is consumed.

 

The water footprint may compare to how much water is utilized by various goods and services. Businesses may choose which goods and services to create and use with more knowledge of the water footprint of multiple goods and services.

 

The water footprint may analyze the environmental impacts of water use. We can better comprehend the ecological impact of water use by studying the water footprint of various activities. For instance, it can assist us in understanding the effects of industrial activities on water pollution and the irrigation of water supplies.

 

Why It Is Essential and How to Calculate Your Water Footprint

A product, process, or service’s water footprint is the total water utilized in its development, production, and consumption. It measures the volume of water used or contaminated throughout the creation and consumption of a good or service. The water footprint may identify places where water resources are being utilized inefficiently or where there is room for improvement. It is a valuable tool for understanding the water resources used in certain activities.

 

Understanding the water sources utilized in creating, processing, and consuming a good, process, or service is necessary for calculating a product’s water footprint. Blue water, green water, and grey water are the primary water utilized in these activities. Surface waters like rivers, lakes, and seas are blue waters. Rainfall and soil moisture cause green water. Wastewater, such as sewage and industrial effluent, is called grey water.

 

The First Step

 

The first step in determining a water footprint is to identify the numerous water sources utilized in creating, manufacturing, and consuming a good, process, or service—both direct and indirect water identifying included in this. A product, process, or service that uses natural water sources is created, manufactured, and consumed directly. These include liquids used for cleaning, cooling, irrigation, and other purposes. Water used to produce power or provide inputs for producing, manufacturing, and consuming a good, process, or service is an example of an indirect water source.

 

The Next Step

 

The water utilized may be estimated once the sources used in producing, manufacturing, and consuming a good, process, or service have been recognized. Various techniques can do this, including the Global Water Footprint Standard and the Water Footprint Calculator from the Water Footprint Network. These techniques account for variables including the water’s color (blue, green, or grey), quantity, and kind of activity (e.g., production, manufacture, or consumption).

 

The water utilized may be estimated once the sources used in producing, manufacturing, and consuming a good, process, or service have been recognized. Various techniques can do this, including the Global Water Footprint Standard and the Water Footprint Calculator from the Water Footprint Network. These techniques account for variables including the water’s color (blue, green, or grey), quantity, and kind of activity (e.g., production, manufacture, or consumption).

 

The effectiveness of the water consumption may also be assessed by comparing the water footprint to a benchmark or standard. This may be accomplished by comparing a product’s, processes, or service’s water footprint to the typical water footprint of comparable items from the same industry. This makes it possible for companies and organizations to pinpoint wasteful water consumption and potential improvement areas.

 

An Example

 

This process example of “1 kg beef cattle for slaughter, at beef farm “ describes the production of beef cattle for slaughter at an average farm in Ireland. The total water foot print per 1 kg of production is 0.26 m3.

 

Product:

1 kg beef cattle for slaughter, at beef farm

 

Impact category

Unit

Total

Grass, grazed in pasture

Grass silage, at beef farm

Compound feed beef cattle

Energy, from diesel burned in machinery

Transport, truck

Electricity mix

Water Foot Print

m3

0.2609

0.0014

0.0021

0.2565

0.0003

2.42E-06

0.0006

 

Finally

 

Determining a water footprint is crucial for understanding the water resources used in a particular activity and locating places where water resources are being used inefficiently. Understanding the water sources utilized during the creation, processing, and consumption of a good, process, or service is crucial in determining the effects of the water used. To identify areas for improvement, the water footprint should then be compared to a benchmark or norm.

 

Conclusion

An essential tool for comprehending the water situation is the water footprint. It is a means to gauge how much certain water groups of people, businesses, and geographical areas utilize. The green water footprint, the blue water footprint, and the gray water footprint are the three parts. The gray water footprint calculates the quantity of contaminated water discharged from production. The blue water footprint calculates the surface and groundwater utilized for production. The green water footprint calculates the rainfall used for irrigation. Knowing the sources of water and how to manage them sustainably, comparing various products and services based on how much water they consume, and comprehending the effects that water use has on the ecosystem are all made possible by understanding the water footprint.

 

Training Programs

If you enjoyed this post, join our free newsletter for more valuable content! Subscribe now for informative articles, service updates, downloadable guides, and more. Click here!

Discover DEISO Training: Delve into DEISO's cutting-edge, certified training in sustainability, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), LCA software and databases, GHG accounting, Carbon Footprint, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), and beyond. Uncover our comprehensive training portfolio here.

en_USEnglish

Traing Programs

End of the year sales.

All of our training programs are now on sale!

up to 50% off