Now ISO standard for water footprint

ISO 14046 will not only determine water wastage but suggest ways to reduce it

By Rajit Sengupta
Published: Monday 04 August 2014


International Standards Organisation (ISO) recently announced a new standard to allow businesses and state organisations world over to measure their water footprint. ISO 14046, Environmental management – Water footprint – Principles, requirements and guidelines, will allow all kinds of organisations—from industry, to government and non-profits—the means to measure their water footprint or their potential environmental impact of water use and pollution, an ISO press release said. It uses a life-cycle assessment method to determine the extent of possible environmental impacts related to water and identifies ways of reducing those impacts.

The new standards come at a time when water use and management have become central to the global debate on sustainability. Two recent studies have predicted the world will have to choose between drinking water and energy demand by 2040, if the current water use pattern is not changed. US-based non-profit The Water Project says nearly a billion people worldwide do not have access to clean and safe water—a figure that is likely to increase because of industrialisation. 

The new standard brings hope for India which, according to the World Bank, is the largest user of ground water in the world, after China. If something is not done soon, an estimated 114 million Indians will soon face desperate domestic, agricultural and industrial shortages.

The studies on impending water crises can be accessed at these links: 


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