Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Water footprinting

The water footprinting approach provides a way of quantifying and understanding the water use of a product, and its potential impacts on the environment. Reducing the global water footprint and achieving greater efficiencies will require both production and consumption side shifts. As water footprint terminology is used slightly differently by different stakeholders, the literature on this topic can refer to both water ‘footprints’ or ‘virtual water use’.

Photo credit: Gregor Sieböck, Flickr, Creative Commons License
2 November 2016

Opponents in an academic discussion on the relevance and the validity of the ‘Ecological Footprint approach’ have come together to write an article in which they challenge each other’s views. 

18 January 2016

In this article, researchers from Cranfield University, UK, examine the environmental burden associated with the production, manufacturing and distribution of potatoes, pasta and rice. The aim of the research is to highlight the difference that can be made to an individual’s environmental footprint (here focusing on water use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions) by making dietary changes within food groups, rather than between them.

18 February 2014

On January 22nd USAID’s  online knowledge sharing platform Agrilinks held a seminar on Scaling-up Re-greening Solutions in Africa to Boost Smallholder Yields. It discussed a recently released report by World Resources Institute (WRI)  on “Improving Land and Water Management”.

15 April 2013

Water is not only used in the domestic context, but also in agriculture and industry in the production of commercial goods, from food to paper. The water footprint is an indicator of freshwater use that looks at both direct and indirect use of water by a consumer or producer.

25 March 2013

This paper finds that the water footprint of agricultural products (a definition that presumably includes non-food products) accounts for 91% of the EU’s production-related water footprint and 89% of its consumption related footpint. It argues that much more water can be saved by modifying diets and reducing food waste than through the traditional water-saving routes highlighted in mainstream awareness raising campaigns. The paper echoes others that find animal products to be particularly water intensive.

18 March 2013

For those interested in or working on life cycle analysis type approaches you may be interested in a free carbon footprinting tool Ccalc. The tool can be used for the following:

9 March 2012

This study calculates and maps humanity’s green, blue and grey water footprint at a high spatial resolution.