Online water footprint assessment tool updated

The Water Footprint Network has updated an online ‘Water Footprint Assessment Tool’ to help generate insights and solutions to enable efficient water management. The free interactive tool brings together the latest global scientific data on water related to commodities, crops, geographic areas and water sources.

Available for free, the site brings together 15 years of scientific data development on resources, according to the organisation behind it, the Water Footprint Network.

Potential users could include farmers to ensure “long-term yields”, through to investors for help in analysing and navigating risks, companies “planning sustainable business” and finally communities reducing environmental impact.

In its announcement, the organisation listed two examples of the assessment tool in action: a response formulation of cotton in India and a hydrograph of the Orange Basin in South Africa.

Opening up actionable data
The Water Footprint Network said the online tool will accommodate new developments in data and technology. Furthermore, users around the world will be able to contribute to the ongoing developments in the future.

“A warming climate adds urgency to monitoring water use, as we’ll see larger water footprints across sectors,” said Dr. Rick Hogeboom, executive director of the Water Footprint Network.

“And as water use increases, our supply remains roughly the same, so use of smart approaches with our Assessment Tool facilitates more fair, sustainable and profitable practices for everyone.”

Michiel van Heek, developer in the assessment tool initiative, added: “The data in our tool is specific, actionable and understandable for water use and supply chains. It features much more than just a risk assessment, and can increase sustainability in water uses of companies, governments, environmental initiatives and more.”