Estimating Water footprint of palm oil production in PTP Mitra Ogan Baturaja, South Sumatera

Herda Sabriyah Dara Kospa, Kris R.D. Lulofs, Chay Asdak

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Rising demand for palm oil has led to the rapid expansion of palm oil industry in Indonesia. Consequently, the environmental and social issues including water-related problems have become a major concern. Inevitably, water consumption in this sector is very important to be analyzed. Water footprint is one of the methods that can be used as a tool for the sustainable appropriation of freshwater resources. Here we investigated the water footprint in both oil palm cultivation and milling processes carried out by PTP Mitra Ogan, the largest plantation companies in South Sumatera. The goal eventually was to formulate the strategies to reduce the water footprint in the palm oil production based on the best practice criteria. This study reveals that the total water footprint of oil palm done by PTP Mitra Ogan (487 ton) is 980.9 m3/ton, while that of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) (5.7 ton) is 3,818.6 m3 / ton and processing kernel (0.74 ton) is 2,174.3 m3 / ton. This study reveals that the intensive use of inorganic fertilizers during the cultivation process caused the high value of the water footprint in the farming stage, so that the use of inorganic fertilizers must be controlled. In the industrial processes, total water use in all stages of the production of CPO and kernel was 1.36 m3 / ton of fresh fruit bunch produced, whereas the wastewater produce was approximately 306.81 m3/ton. It reveals that there was an inefficient use of water in the milling processes so that the implementation of the steam accumulator and reuse of wastewater discharged can be alternatives in reducing the water footprint in the palm oil milling process for better water resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2115-2121
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Palm oil
  • Sustainable water resources
  • Water footprint
  • Water resource management


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