Water Footprint Network Newsletter October 2015




web version of this newsletter





Executive Director’s note

In September, Heads of State adopted the Sustainable Development Goals which lay out a determined agenda until 2030 and signal a broad commitment to sustainable development. After participating in the consultation process over the last few years, Water Footprint Network is excited to join the global community in making the goals a reality. Goal 6 focuses on water. It renews the commitment to WASH and has been expanded to include sustainable management of basins, reduction of pollution, increased water efficiency and protection of freshwater ecosystems. Yet the focus on water does not stop there; it flows through several other goals and their targets, which are also dependent upon water.

Water Footprint Assessment can play a central role in helping us achieve our common aim for a fair and sustainable future. By developing understanding of the water required to produce a certain crop or product in a particular location, and assessing the water footprint relative to local water availability and quality, it provides the insights needed to contribute to the achievement of many of the goals. For example, by helping to improve efficiency in production, particularly around food, it can help to achieve Goal 2 on ending hunger and achieving food security. It can contribute to Goal 8 on sustainable consumption and production patterns by establishing water efficiency benchmarks and to Goal 9 on making industry more sustainable and resource efficient by identifying where water footprint savings are possible.

We look forward to working with our partners as we apply Water Footprint Assessment and use our practical tools and data, case studies and water footprint research to turn the Sustainable Development Goals into reality.

Ruth Mathews, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network







Upcoming Trainings

    Global Water Footprint Standard Training, Morelos, Mexico, 17th- 20th November 2015

    This intensive course on Water Footprint Assessment Methodology & Application will be led by experts from Water Footprint Network and the University of Twente, in collaboration with specialists from the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA).

    Main instructors: Prof. dr ir. Arjen Y. Hoekstra [University of Twente], Dr. Daniel Chico Zamanillo [WFN]
    Collaborators: M.C. Rita Vázquez del Mercado [IMTA], M.C. Mario O. Buenfil Rodriguez (IMTA), M.A. Rosalinda Uribe Visoso [IMTA], M.E. Ricardo Morales [AgroDer]

    Find out more about the course and register here.




Upcoming Events

    Amsterdam International Water Week, Amsterdam Rai, 2nd- 6th November 2015
    Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) aims to connect industry, science, business, policy and technology sectors in order to explore opportunities for more sustainable use of water resources.

    Water Solutions for a Sustainable Textile Industry
    Tuesday 3rd November 2015, Room G107, Time: 16.00 – 17.20

    Hosted by Water Footprint Network and Netherlands Water Partnership, this workshop will bring together a variety of global networks including water technology suppliers, fashion brands and factory owners from several textile hubs all over the world. Participants will share experiences and approaches to sustainable water use in the textile industry, one of the world’s most water intensive industries.

    Speakers include: Dr. Ertug Ercin, Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) Project Manager, Water Footprint Network; Mohan Seneviratne, PaCT Program Manager, International Finance Corporation; and Faruque Hassan, Senior Vice President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Read more about this session here.

    Sustainable Water Management and Stewardship in the Mining Industry
    Wednesday 4th November 2015, Room G107, Time: 10.05 - 11.25

    The mining industry exerts a lot of pressure on freshwater reserves in many countries and is responsible for the deterioration of water quality in many important rivers and reservoirs. Coupled with poor state water management strategies, this has created the conditions for conflicts.  These conditions, along with increased competition for water and climate change, put the sector at high risk.

    Hosted by Water Footprint Network and Netherlands Water Partnership, this workshop will bring together water technology suppliers, mining companies, consultants, finance, investment and government representatives from intensive mining regions all over the world for presentations and round table discussions on water stewardship within the sector.

    Speakers include: Ruth Mathews, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network; Andrew Steer, CEO World Resource Institute; and Harm Duel, Senior Researcher & Ground Water Specialist, Deltares. Read more about this session here.

    Industrial Leaders Forum: Industrial Water Pathways in a Circular Economy
    Wednesday 4th November 2015, Room G107, Time: 14.25 – 17.20

    This year’s Industrial Leaders Forum (ILF) aims to facilitate discussion and debate around the theme of the Circular Economy leading to the development of ‘Industrial Water Pathways in a Circular Economy’ framework. Keynote speaker: Geoff Gage, Partner McKinsey & Company and leader of McKinsey's global Water service line.
    As part of this, ILF will host five round table discussions round table on next-generation moves for water-system management. 75 leading, cross sector professionals will discuss the changes required in water system management over the next ten years to meet the water-resource challenge and forward a new circular perspective on water management.

    Round Table Discussion: Basin management
    Water Footprint Network will moderate discussion on next generation moves for water-system management and improved water balance of river basins. It will include discussion on water allocation and aims to further understanding of geographic river catchment, tailored catchment site action plans, collaboration and transparency.
    Read more about AIWW here or read the Industrial Water Programme Leaflet here.
    Register for the conference here.







WFN Publications

    Special Issue of Sustainability on 'Water Footprints and Sustainable Water Allocation'
    features 17 open access papers that advance the field of Water Footprint Assessment, edited by Prof. Dr. Arjen Y. Hoekstra of the University of Twente and Dr. Ashok K. Chapagain, Dr. Guoping Zhang of Water Footprint Network. Read the papers here.

    "Water Footprint Assessment: A Business Guide"
    by Ashok Chapagain, Science Director at Water Footprint Network and David Tickner, Chief Freshwater Adviser at WWF-UK. This is a must read guide for any business wanting to become a good water steward. Written in clear language and with high scientific integrity, it is a concise and comprehensive digest of emerging concepts, tools and arguments around water footprint approaches. Buy a copy of the guide here.




Events News

    WFN @ World Resources Forum 2015
    Davos, 11th – 14th October 2015

    The theme for Tuesday 13th was "The Circular Economy Business Challenge". Water Footprint Network Project Manager, Dr. Ertug Ercin, was a keynote speaker at a workshop entitled: “Sustainable water use – Target setting and political application“. The workshop was Chaired by Christopher Manstein of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA).
    Find out more about World Resources Forum 2015 here.
    Find out more about this workshop here.

    WFN @ 2015 World Water Week
    Stockholm, 23rd – 28th August, 2015

    We had a productive series of presentations and discussions during the workshop ‘Implementing the SDGs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda’, and our seminar co-convened with Alliance for Water Stewardship, ‘Feeding Nine Billion People: How Water Stewardship Can Help.’ We also held our annual Partners’ Projects in the Spotlight. We would like to thank all presenters, partners and participants who contributed toward making these events a success.

    Our Executive Director, Ruth Mathews, presented results from our project “Improving the Sustainability of Cotton Production: An Assessment of the Water Footprint of Agricultural Practices”, conducted with C&A, as evidence that improved agricultural practices can result in reduced water footprint and improved livelihoods for farmers – direct evidence of sustainable development where social, economic and environmental values are harmonised.

    Josefina Maetsu (UN Water) and Timothy Williams (IWMI) shared their perspectives on how water is a global, and a local, issue as reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals. Maestu expressed that we are all connected through global trade and supply chains and the water footprint helps us recognise this interconnectedness, whilst Williams suggested that local institutions, capacity, legal and customary rights, colour how global water issues land locally.

    During our Partner Projects in the Spotlight, Erika Zarate of Good Stuff International presented how Water Footprint Assessment was incorporated into the Colombian National Water Study. The inclusion of the green water footprint in the latest plans is a significant step forward and will have a positive impact on all sectors in the country. Watch Good Stuff International’s video of Omar Vargas, the director of ENA at IDEAM, in which he explains the added value of the water footprint for illuminating water use at the river basin level in Colombia. Carlo Galli presented Nestle’s public-private partnership to support the implementation of an Integrated Water Management System towards a Climate Intelligent Coffee Growing Sector in Colombia. The  Intelligent Water Management (IWM) programme will be using Water Footprint Assessment to understand the water footprint associated with coffee bean production and to evaluate the impact of clean technologies and good agricultural practices.




WFN News

    Water Footprint Network has partnered with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) one of the world’s leading hotel companies, to develop a Global Water Stewardship Programme. As part of the programme, IHG and the Water Footprint Network will develop a deep understanding of IHG’s water usage at a local level, applying best practice techniques and behaviours to manage and reduce its water footprint. Read more here.

    The Water Footprint Network is pleased to welcome Elisabeth Rientjes as our new Management Assistant. Elizabeth has solid experience of administrative, financial, organisational and operational matters and will be an asset to our team.




Partner News

    Water Footprint Network’s partner, Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), has awarded its new global standard for water stewardship to Ecolab’s Inc.'s manufacturing plant in Taicang, China, making it the first site in the world to be independently certified under the AWS’s Standard. Find out more here.





WFN Contact



Water Footprint Network
International Water House
Bezuidenhoutseweg 2
2594 AV The Hague
The Netherlands


+31 85 484 9600

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