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’.
This research identifies the major crops and countries contributing to groundwater depletion. The authors found that 11 percent of unsustainable groundwater used for irrigation is embedded in international crop trade. They highlight the main exporters and importers of these crops, and the associated risks for local and global food and water security.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.