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IETC held a Workshop on Water Footprint

Decline of freshwater availability in terms of quantity as well as quality has become a serious issue all around the world. In many cases, such freshwater problems are caused by water consumption and pollution for mankind’s activities for products and services.. Since the globalization has boosted the cross-border trades of products and services, local water problems have changed into the global ones across the hydrological boundaries; consumption of products in an area often leads to water stress and water environment in different areas through the Virtual Water trade.
The water footprint has been proposed as an indicator to visualize the direct and indirect water use of products and services, taking consequent water pollutions into consideration. While various calculation methodologies of water footprints from different perspectives have been proposed, ISO has commenced the process of standardization of water footprint accounting.
Applying the water footprint concept has the potential to provide an innovative tool to enhance water efficiency and water quality among potential competing uses, and drive governments, businesses and consumers to implement measures to improve environmental performance and make more informed decisions about water-intensive investments.
Recognizing the potential of the concept and needs for further development of water footprint methodologies, UNEP has launched a project entitled “Water Footprint, Neutrality and Efficiency (WaFNE)” in 2009. The project entails the refinement of water footprint accounting methodologies and related concepts, and pilot applications of the associated methodologies and tools in selected geographical areas and industrial sectors.

Consultative Workshop
Open Dialogue Session

On 1-3 June 2010, UNEP IETC held a Consultative Workshop on Water Footprint, Neutrality and Efficiency in Osaka, Japan. GEC co-organized the workshop as its support activity to UNEP IETC. Experts from Water Footprint Network, an organization developing and promoting water footprint concept, the convener of ISO Working Group on Water Footprint, representatives from Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Vietnam were invited to the workshop to review the progress on the WaFNE project, including refinement of water footprint methodologies and tools, to discuss merits and challenges for wider applications of the water footprint concepts particularly in developing countries. GEC representative presented the summary of their survey and review on the water footprint from current Japanese perspectives.
In addition, an open dialogue session for public and private sectors in Japan on 3 June. In the session, the concept of water footprint and its applications, corporate initiative, potentials and challenges, and the updates of ISO process on water footprint were introduced by the invited panelists to audiences from public and private sectors, NGOs, civil society group and mass media. Following the presentations, the panelists ansnwered some key questions raised by audiences such as “What is the meaning and objective of water footprint accounting?”, “Water footprint should be applied for protecting water environment”.
This three-year water footprint project is being implemented by UNEP’s three units, namely IETC, Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch (Paris) and UNEP Finance Initiative (Geneva) in collaboration with various partners and networks with government, industries and practitioners.

【What is water footprint?】
In the case of a product, the water footprint is the volume of freshwater consumption and pollution directly and indirectly over its complete production and supply chains, including cultivation and production of raw materials, processing, manufacturing, transportation, distribution and consumption.
According to the definition by Water Footprint Network, the total water footprint consists with three components. “Blue water footprint” refers to loss of surface water and groundwater, which happens when water is incorporated into products, evaporates and returns to different catchment areas or the sea. “Green water footprint” refers to loss of rainwater stored in the soil as soil moisture. “Grey water footprint” refers to pollution defined as the volume of water required to assimilating the load of pollutants based on existing ambient water quality standards.
For example, if the direct water consumption of a cup of coffee is 125 ml, water has been used for cultivating coffee trees and processing coffee beans, accordingly the total water footprint during the whole supply chains can be calculated to 140 liters of water. The 140 liters of water is calculated by summing the green and blue water footprint components and is derived from global average data from the time period 1997-2001 (FAOSTAT Database,

Concept of Water Footprint
Concept of Water Footprint

DAY 1 (1 June)
Welcome RemarksDr. Takehiro Nakamura, Director, International Environmental Technology Centre, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP DTIE IETC)
Mr. Kazuhiko Mitsuoka, Managing Director, Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC)
Session 1:
Water footprint: introduction to initiatives undertaken by UNEP and GEC
UNEP’s Water Footprint and Efficiency Initiatives
Dr. Takehiro Nakamura, UNEP DTIE IETC
GEC’s Survey and Review on Water Footprint from Japanese Perspective
Mr. Makoto Fujita, Manager, Planning and Coordination Department, GEC
Session 2:
Methodologies and tools for water footprint and water accounting: geographical applications
Water footprint application in specific geographical areas
Mr. Derk Kuiper, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network (WFN)
Water Footprints of Milk Production: A Case Study in the Moga district of Punjab, India
Dr. Herath Manthrithilake, Head, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Session 3:
Status of standardization and harmonization and Needs for Industrial applications
Corporate Water Accounting: Methods and Tools for industry applications
Dr. Guido Sonnemann, Programme Officer, UNEP DTIE SCP
Water footprinting, life cycle assessment, and standardisation: Update on ISO activities on water footprinting
Mr. Sebastien Humbert, Scientific Director, Quantis, Switzerland and Co-convener of ISO
Assessing the Water Footprint versus Ecological and Carbon Footprints
Dr. Maite Aldaya, Post-doctoral Researcher, Twente University, WFN
Session 4:
Discussion on methodologies and tools for water footprint accounting: Finance
UNEP FIs Water & Finance Workstream & WAFNE
Mr. Ivo Mulder*/Mr. Remco Fischer, Programme Officer, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services / Water & Finance, UNEP Finance Initiative
DAY 2 (2 June)
Session 5:
Geographical level applications and assessment of conceptual validity and impacts for improving water use efficiency
Water Utilization And Efficiency in Vietnam, The Challenges and Sollutions
Ms. Tran Thi Hien Hanh, Senior Officer, Pollution Control Department (PCD), Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), Viet Nam
Water Footprints of Sri Lanka & Impacts for improving water use efficiency and sustainability
Dr. Herath Manthrithilake, Head, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Sustainable Production Of The Nefzaoua Oases
Mr.Mohamed Fadhel Meddeb, Water/Sanitation and Disaster Management Consultant, Tunisia
Session 6
Status of GEF project development for Water Footprint, Neutrality and Efficiency
Status of GEF project development for Water Footprint, Neutrality and Efficiency
Dr. Chizuru Aoki, Senior Programme Officer, UNEP DTIE IETC
Session 7
Way forward for UNEP project implementation and key issues for pilot application as water-offsetting and neutrality measures
Some issues for UNEP’s pilot geographical applications in the
developing countries’ context
Mr. Ryuichi Fukuhara, Project Officer, UNEP DTIE IETC
Summary and Closing RemarksDr. Takehiro Nakamura, UNEP DTIE IETC
Mr. Kazuhiko Mitsuoka, GEC
DAY 3 (3 June)
Opening remarksDr. Takehiro Nakamura, Director, UNEP DTIE IETC
Mr. Takatoshi Wako, Deputy Director, Water Environment Division, Environmental Management Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Japan
Technical PresentationsWater footprint as a tool for integrated water resources management
Dr. Maite Aldaya, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Twente University / Water Footprint Network
Creating Shared Value and Reducing the Corporate Water Footprint
Mr. Masazumi Takata, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, Nestlé Japan Ltd.
Issues onWater Footprint and Beyond
Dr. Taikan Oki, Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo
Water footprinting, life cycle assessment, and standardisation: Update on ISO activities on water footprinting
Mr. Sebastien Humbert, Scientific Director, Quantis, Switzerland and Co-convener of ISO
Questions and Answers (Facilitator) Dr. Takehiro Nakamura, UNEP DTIE IETC

For more information on the Water Footprint, please refer to the following website.
-Water Footprint Network

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