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Special Issue "Water Footprint: Usefulness of the Concept from Accounting Framework to Policy Response Options in Water Resources Management"

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A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Ashok K. Chapagain (Website)

Water Footprint Network
Fax: +31 53 489 5377
Interests: water resources management; water footprint assessment; irrigation

Keywords

  • Methodological issues
  • Water Footprint of products: methods and case studies
  • Water Footprint of a river basin: examples from river basins shared internally and internationally
  • Water Footprint of a nation, group of countries or a region
  • Water Footprint in relation to understanding the risk to businesses
  • An alternative to inter-basin river transfer
  • Water Footprint linking food and water security
  • A lens to Climate Change impacts on water resources
  • Trade offs and links between Water Footprint and Carbon Footprint

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Spatially Explicit Analysis of Water Footprints in the UK
Water 2011, 3(1), 47-63; doi:10.3390/w3010047
Received: 20 November 2010 / Revised: 22 November 2010 / Accepted: 25 December 2010 / Published: 30 December 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (3531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Water Footprint, as an indicator of water consumption has become increasingly popular for analyzing environmental issues associated with the use of water resources in the global supply chain of consumer goods. This is particularly relevant for countries like the UK, which [...] Read more.
The Water Footprint, as an indicator of water consumption has become increasingly popular for analyzing environmental issues associated with the use of water resources in the global supply chain of consumer goods. This is particularly relevant for countries like the UK, which increasingly rely on products produced elsewhere in the world and thus impose pressures on foreign water resources. Existing studies calculating water footprints are mostly based on process analysis, and results are mainly available at the national level. The current paper assesses the domestic and foreign water requirements for UK final consumption by applying an environmentally extended multi-regional input-output model in combination with geo-demographic consumer segmentation data. This approach allows us to calculate water footprints (both direct and indirect) for different products as well as different geographies within the UK. We distinguished between production and consumption footprints where the former is the total water consumed from the UK domestic water resources by the production activities in the UK and the latter is the total water consumed from both domestic and global water resources to satisfy the UK domestic final consumption. The results show that the production water footprint is 439 m3/cap/year, 85% of which is for the final consumption in the UK itself. The average consumption water footprint of the UK is more than three times bigger than the UK production water footprint in 2006. About half of the UK consumption water footprints were associated with imports from Non-OECD countries (many of which are water-scarce), while around 19% were from EU-OECD countries, and only 3% from Non-EU-OECD countries. We find that the water footprint differs considerably across sub-national geographies in the UK, and the differences are as big as 273 m3/cap/year for the internal water footprint and 802 m3/cap/year for the external water footprint. Our results suggest that this is mainly explained by differences in the average income level across the UK. We argue that the information provided by our model at different spatial scales can be very useful for informing integrated water supply and demand side management. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Global Dimension of Water Governance: Why the River Basin Approach Is No Longer Sufficient and Why Cooperative Action at Global Level Is Needed
Water 2011, 3(1), 21-46; doi:10.3390/w3010021
Received: 8 November 2010 / Revised: 11 December 2010 / Accepted: 19 December 2010 / Published: 29 December 2010
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (248 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
When water problems extend beyond the borders of local communities, the river basin is generally seen as the most appropriate unit for analysis, planning, and institutional arrangements. In this paper it is argued that addressing water problems at the river basin level [...] Read more.
When water problems extend beyond the borders of local communities, the river basin is generally seen as the most appropriate unit for analysis, planning, and institutional arrangements. In this paper it is argued that addressing water problems at the river basin level is not always sufficient. Many of today’s seemingly local water issues carry a (sub)continental or even global dimension, which urges for a governance approach that comprises institutional arrangements at a level beyond that of the river basin. This paper examines a number of arguments for the thesis that good water governance requires a global approach complementary to the river basin approach. Subsequently, it identifies four major issues to be addressed at global scale: Efficiency, equity, sustainability and security of water supply in a globalised world. Finally, the paper raises the question of what kind of institutional arrangements could be developed to cope with the global dimension of water issues. A few possible directions are explored, ranging from an international protocol on full-cost water pricing and a water label for water-intensive products to the implementation of water footprint quotas and the water-neutral concept. Full article
Open AccessArticle Estimating Green Water Footprints in a Temperate Environment
Water 2010, 2(3), 351-362; doi:10.3390/w2030351
Received: 9 June 2010 / Revised: 2 July 2010 / Accepted: 12 July 2010 / Published: 14 July 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The “green” water footprint (GWF) of a product is often considered less important than the “blue” water footprint (BWF) as “green” water generally has a low, or even negligible, opportunity cost. However, when considering food, fibre and tree products, is not only [...] Read more.
The “green” water footprint (GWF) of a product is often considered less important than the “blue” water footprint (BWF) as “green” water generally has a low, or even negligible, opportunity cost. However, when considering food, fibre and tree products, is not only a useful indicator of the total appropriation of a natural resource, but from a methodological perspective, blue water footprints are frequently estimated as the residual after green water is subtracted from total crop water use. In most published studies, green water use (ETgreen) has been estimated from the FAO CROPWAT model using the USDA method for effective rainfall. In this study, four methods for the estimation of the ETgreen of pasture were compared. Two were based on effective rainfall estimated from monthly rainfall and potential evapotranspiration, and two were based on a simulated water balance using long-term daily, or average monthly, weather data from 11 stations in England. The results show that the effective rainfall methods significantly underestimate the annual ETgreen in all cases, as they do not adequately account for the depletion of stored soil water during the summer. A simplified model, based on annual rainfall and reference evapotranspiration (ETo) has been tested and used to map the average annual ETgreen of pasture in England. Full article

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