Water Footprint Network Newsletter June 2015




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Executive Director’s note

I am delighted to share with you the exciting news that we plan to relocate the Water Footprint Network office to the International Water House (IWH) in The Hague on 1st September, 2015. This move will open an exciting new chapter for the Water Footprint Network.

Interest in the value of Water Footprint Assessment for addressing global water crises has grown rapidly in recent years and our role as a network has increased. A more central location in The Hague will enable us to respond with greater agility to the increasing call for our expertise, accelerate our impact, and better position us to achieve our goals.

IWH is an ideal new location for us. Founded in 2009, it’s a meeting point for the Dutch Water Sector and its international partners and is home to other organisations working on water related issues, such as IRC and the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), one of the founding partners of Water Footprint Network.

Our upcoming move is only possible because of the strong foundations laid by the father of the water footprint methodology, Professor Arjen Hoekstra, and the University of Twente, where we have had easy access to the centre of research on Water Footprint Assessment.  We are deeply grateful for their kind support and for nurturing the organisation through these early years. We look forward to a future of continued, close collaboration.

The relocation will not affect our daily work, nor our exciting plans for Stockholm World Water Week in August. We look forward to seeing many of you there. Register now! Early bird registration closes today.

Ruth Mathews, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network







Upcoming Trainings

    Master Course Hydrology & Water Footprint Assessment
    University of Twente, The Netherlands, 31st August – 6th November, 2015

    This 10-week Master of Science level course is open to students and professionals from different disciplines. A Bachelor degree in some related field is required. Participants will join students following the University of Twente’s Master Programme in Civil Engineering and Management (Specialisation in Water Engineering and Management). The course will be conducted in English.
    Deadline for registration: 1st August 2015
    Find out more here.

    E-Learning Course: Water Footprint Assessment Concept and Application
    21st September – 9th October 2015.

    This is a self-taught, online foundation course. Developed with support of the World Bank Institute and the University of Twente, it provides an introduction to the concept of water footprint and the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA) for those new to the issue.

    Participants will be expected to spend approximately 15 hours of self-paced learning over a period of three weeks. On completion of the course, participants will be awarded the Certificate of E-learning Course, endorsed by the WFN.
    Deadline for registration: 31st August 2015
    Find out more here.

    Upcoming webinars
    Upcoming in September and October: Join the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) and WFN for a webinar series that will aim to help participants understand the complimentary relationship between the AWS Standard and WFA.

    Stay tuned for dates and times.




WFN News

    More on our move to the IWH
    We are looking forward to working more closely with our soon-to-be new neighbours at the International Water House, including Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP) and IRC.

    NWP is a comprehensive network that unites Dutch water expertise. The partnership, consisting of 200 members from private companies, government, knowledge institutes and NGOs, acts as a centre of information on water expertise, policy developments and market opportunities worldwide.

    IRC is an international ‘think-and-do’ tank. It works with people in the poorest communities in the world, with local and national governments, and with non-governmental organisations, to help them develop long–term water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. It helps people to make the change from short-term interventions to long-term services that will transform their lives and their futures.

    Water footprint in the media
    The ongoing drought in California has created a spike in interest about the water footprint of agriculture in the state, across the USA and beyond.  WFN, Professor Hoekstra and his research team at the University of Twente have been helping a number of journalists cover the issue. We hope this increased awareness inspires action.

    See here and here for some examples of how WaterStat data have been the source of inspiration for some powerful info graphics over the past month.

    See The Guardian ‘Switching to biofuels could place unsustainable demands on water use’ by Professor Hoekstra.

    See Future Food 2050 ‘Shrinking Agriculture’s Water Footprint', an interview with Professor Hoekstra.

    In only two minutes this new video by National Geographic tells all: ‘Food by the Numbers: Feeding Our Hungry Planet’.







Upcoming Events

    WFN @ 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm
    City Conference Centre,  23rd – 28th August, 2015

    We look forward to seeing many of you at World Water Week. Register now for SWWW here. Early bird registration closes today. Make sure you have our events in your diary!

    Sunday 23rd August, 11.00-12.30: WFN will present “Capacity Building Towards Sustainable Cotton Cultivation: Water Footprint Reduction Strategies” at a workshop entitled “Implementing the SDGs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.

    Tuesday 25th August, 11-12.30, Room FH307: WFN and AWS will convene a seminar entitled “Feeding Nine Billion People: How Water Stewardship Can Help”.
    WFN will organise partner events in Stockholm during World Water Week. Details on these events will be available soon.

    We cordially invite you to join WFN’s Partner Events Programme.

    Tuesday 2nd September 14:00-17:00, Room 360. WFN Partner Projects in the spotlight
    This will be an open and interactive session to discuss updates on and applications of WFA. WFN will showcase inspiring examples of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA) and offer the opportunity for practitioners to share experiences and report on recently completed WFA studies, research and tools. This session will facilitate dialogue on the latest developments in WFA and will provide new insights into this emerging field.
    You are invited to contribute!
    If you are a Water Footprint Network partner that is involved in best practice or have developed a new and innovative project based on our WFA methodology, we invite you to contribute to this session.
    We kindly request you to submit your WFA project presentation form(s) before Friday August 7th 2015. For further information about submissions, please contact us.




Events news

    DNV GL Information Meeting on Water Footprint
    Copenhagen, Denmark, 16th June, 2015

    WFN’s Ruth Mathews presented “Water as a critical resource” at this information meeting, organised by WFN partner, DNV GL. Participants were invited to find out about their company’s water footprint and how it supports sustainability. They also explored the relationship between WFA and ISO 14046.

    Global Water Footprint Standard training course
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands 9th – 12th June, 2015

    This was our first four-day intensive training course. Led by WFN’s Science Director, Dr. Ashok Chapagain, it was attended by a group of dedicated participants.  The face-to-face nature of the training not only helped trainees become proficient in WFA and facilitated knowledge sharing, but also provided an opportunity to explore future collaboration in the field.
    WFN extended the course by an extra day in order to explore ISO14046, AWS standards and other emerging initiatives and tools, such as risk assessment.

    15th IWRA International World Water Congress
    Edinburgh, Scotland, 25th - 29th May, 2015

    WFN convened a successful session on “Water Footprint Assessment: A new frontier in water resource management”. An excellent set of presentations were given and inspired a very interactive panel discussion. Our thanks to co-convenors: Beijing Forestry University; Northwestern A&F University, China; University of Twente; Botin Foundation; University of Free State, South Africa.

    Water Footprint Research Alliance, launched at International World Water Congress 26th May, 2015
    Calling all partners! Can you contribute to WFA research? Join our new Water Footprint Research Alliance, which aims to bring together research partners in order to broaden the knowledge base supporting WFA application. Find out more and apply to become a member of the alliance here.

    Global Water Footprint Standard Training Course
    Medellin, Colombia, 20th -23rd May, 2015

    The Global Water Footprint Standard training, held in Medellin, Colombia,  was well attended by 50 participants from the public, corporate and education sectors. Organised by the Antioquía Science and Technology Center (CTA) and conducted by WFN, Good Stuff International  (GSI) and the CTA itself, the course included case studies by CTA and GSI that gave insight into their experiences of applying WFA in Colombia. Particular emphasis was given to the Porce River basin and the National WFA, which will be included in the Colombian Environment Ministry’s National Water Study. Through a combination of theory and practice, participants learned how to conduct a full WFA and how to apply it to public policy for integrated water resources management and sustainable water management in the private sector.

    International Training in Applied Methods for Water Footprint Assessment: Global Water Footprint Standard and ISO14046,
    Madrid, Spain, 5th - 6th May, 2015

    Together with our partner, Water Observatory of the Botín Foundation (Spain), WFN provided a 2 day course on WFA and its application with ISO 14046. Tailored for the private sector, the course enabled participants to incorporate WFA as part of their company’s strategy for sustainable water use. It built upon the Water Observatory’s experience of conducting WFA courses for the private sector and incorporated WFN expertise.
    The course combined a practical approach to water footprint accounting and sustainability assessment, as well as case studies and practical exercises in order to help participants fully understand and develop a WFA.

    Round Table on Water Usage & Management
    Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 30th March, 2015

    This Round Table was jointly organised by the state government of Minas Gerais, the Dutch Embassy in Brazil and the Netherland’s Business Support Office in Brazil (NBSO), in reponse to the urgent need to meet emerging water challenges in the most populous region of Brazil, including the state of Minas Gerais, which is experiencing the worst drought in 80 years. The aim of the seminar was to seek new knowledge, insights and ways to improve water resources planning and management.
    WFN’s Programme Director, Dr. Guoping Zhang, gave a keynote speech on WFA methodology, the value and usefulness of the WFA in integrated water resources management and sustainable water use. The speech was well received and triggered active discussion amongst participants that spanned both the public and private sectors from Brazil and the Netherlands.The Secretariat of Planning & Management of the state, along with other key, local stakeholders, became very interested in the new thinking and methodology underlying WFA and discussed a possibility of applying it in the state’s water resources planning.

    IFC-CNIS seminar “Sustainable Water Management– Good Practices and Emerging Trends”
    Shanghai, China, 14th April, 2015

    This practitioners’ seminar was jointly organised by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), as part of the IFC’s China Water Programme (2013-2017). It provided participants with a introduction to sustainable and holistic water management and its role in corporate risk management.
    WFN’s Dr. Guoping Zhang gave a presentation on how to achieve sustainable water management through WFA. Interest in applying WFA in CSR and water risk management programmes is increasing in China and the event was well attended by CSR managers from leading textile, food and beverage, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics and other manufacturing companies, as well as representatives from the industrial associations of China, local and international environment NGOs, research institutes and financial institutions.





WFN Contact



Horst Building
Room HR-W114
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands


+3153 489 5383

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