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Water Footprinting: How to Address Water Use in Life Cycle Assessment?

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Author Info

  • Markus Berger

    ()
    (Department of Environmental Technology, Technische Universität Berlin, Office Z1, Strasse des 17, Juni 135, 10437 Berlin, Germany)

  • Matthias Finkbeiner

    ()
    (Department of Environmental Technology, Technische Universität Berlin, Office Z1, Strasse des 17, Juni 135, 10437 Berlin, Germany)

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    Abstract

    As freshwater is a vital yet often scarce resource, the life cycle assessment community has put great efforts in method development to properly address water use. The International Organization for Standardization has recently even launched a project aiming at creating an international standard for ‘water footprinting’. This paper provides an overview of a broad range of methods developed to enable accounting and impact assessment of water use. The critical review revealed that methodological scopes differ regarding types of water use accounted for, inclusion of local water scarcity, as well as differentiation between watercourses and quality aspects. As the application of the most advanced methods requires high resolution inventory data, the trade-off between ‘precision’ and ‘applicability’ needs to be addressed in future studies and in the new international standard.

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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/4/919/pdf
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    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/4/919/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 919-944

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:4:p:919-944:d:7789

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    Web page: http://www.mdpi.com/

    Related research

    Keywords: water use; life cycle assessment; water footprint;

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    Cited by:
    1. Matthias Finkbeiner & Erwin M. Schau & Annekatrin Lehmann & Marzia Traverso, 2010. "Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(10), pages 3309-3322, October.

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