The water footprint of industry

Arjen Y. Hoekstra

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
112 Downloads (Pure)


Industries become increasingly aware that they contribute directly and indirectly to water scarcity and pollution, and that this constitutes a risk they have to respond to. Therefore, a growing number of companies have started to explore their water footprint (WF) and to search for ways they can become better water stewards. The chapter discusses what new perspective the WF concept brings to the table compared with the traditional way of looking at water use. Next, it discusses and compares three methods to trace resource use and pollution over supply chains: environmental footprint assessment; life cycle assessment; and environmentally extended input–output analysis. It then reviews some of the recent literature about direct and indirect WFs of different sectors of the economy. Finally, it discusses the emerging concept of water stewardship for business and the challenge of creating greater product and business transparency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssessing and measuring environmental impact and sustainability
EditorsJ.J. Klemeš
Place of PublicationOxford,UK
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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