“The water footprint is the total volume of freshwater used in the production of goods and services. It can be calculated for a specific product, an individual company or an entire country. This footprint, say experts, is an indicator of both potential and limits.
“Perhaps the water footprint will not follow the same critical path as the carbon footprint, but it does call companies’ attention to rethinking their water resource management,” said Rodrigo Acevedo, head of agro-industry projects at the Chile Foundation, one of the entities measuring the footprint in this South American country.
It is a matter of “changing the paradigm,” Acevedo told Tierramérica. It will obligate companies to “go beyond the legal spheres,” like water use rights, and consider the effects of their consumption on the sustainability of local watersheds and of their own businesses.
Right now, the leading entity for defining the standards is the Water Footprint Network, a non-profit foundation based in the Netherlands. It has calculated the water footprint of such things as a cup of coffee (140 litres) and a kilo of rice (3,000 litres).”
Read more: AlterNet