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Veolia's Water Impact Index, A New Tool for Water Footprinting

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In order to better understand and manage water resources, the need for calculation methods and metrics has been largely recognized. Although impacts of water use could be expressed as a combination of indicators (i.e. aquatic ecotoxicity, eutrophication, scarcity, volume abstracted); there is a need for a composite stand-alone indicator that incorporates multiple variables. Veolia's new Water Impact Index (WII) is one variation of such as indicator- the first indicator enabling a comprehensive assessment of the impact of human activity on water resources. With this tool, for any product or process, the physical water balance is weighted by a quality index and a water stress index. This methodology is rooted in life cycle concepts and methodologies, taking into account both direct but also indirect water uses of any process. The index has been tested in what Veolia believes to be the first-ever simultaneous analysis of water and carbon on a major metropolitan area's water cycle. Results will be discussed.
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Keywords: Milwaukee; Water footprint; resource impact; water stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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