The water footprint is an indicator of freshwater use that takes into account both direct and indirect use by a consumer or producer.
It is defined as the total volume of freshwater used to produce goods and services. This indicator is measured in terms of volume of water consumed and/or polluted, per unit of time.
The main objective of the water footprint is to quantify the volume of freshwater consumed in production processes in order to assess their sustainability. By measuring and analysing this indicator, we can identify opportunities for improvement and develop plans to increase efficiency and reduce water consumption.
Within the water footprint field, there are different typologies that are distinguished by the study limits established in the measurement of the amount of water consumed.
- Operational water footprint
– Measures and evaluates water consumption directly related to human activities (cooking, bathing, cleaning, irrigation, etc.).
– Also known as direct water footprint
- Supply chain water footprint
– Measures and assesses water consumption linked to the production and supply of goods and services.
– Also known as indirect water footprint.
- Product water footprint
– Measures and assesses the water consumption linked to the production of a product, taking into account water consumed directly in the manufacture of the product, as well as water used indirectly in the supply chain.
- WaterFootprint Network (WFN) methodology
Water consumption reduction plans are tools that provide clear indications on how to reduce water use in a company. These plans contain a series of specific measures that are feasible and feasible to implement in the short and medium term, and are adapted to the company’s resources and possibilities.