ISO Releases Water Footprint Standard

September 19, 2014

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The International Organization of Standards (ISO; Geneva) published ISO 14046, Environmental Management — Water footprint — Principles, Requirements, and Guidelines, a standard for measuring a water footprint. ISO 14046 will enable a variety of organizations — from industry to government to nongovernmental organizations — to measure their potential environmental affect from water use and pollution contributions, according to an ISO news release.

The standard is based on a life-cycle assessment and can assist in

  • assessing the magnitude of potential environmental effects related to water;
  • identifying ways to reduce those effects;
  • facilitating water efficiency and optimization of water management at product, process, and organizational levels; and
  • providing scientifically consistent and reliable information for reporting water footprint results that can be tracked over time, the release says.

It also includes geographical and temporal dimensions, and identifies the quantity of water used and changes in water quality, the release says.

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