The International Organization for Standardization has published a water footprint standard to help businesses and other organizations measure their potential environmental impact of water use and pollution.
ISO 14046, Environmental management – Water footprint – Principles, requirements and guidelines, is based on a life cycle assessment and can assist in:
- Assessing the magnitude of potential environmental impacts related to water,
- identifying ways to reduce those impacts,
- 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.
In addition, it includes geographical and temporal dimensions and identifies the quantity of water used and changes in water quality.
Last year building materials firm Cemex developed a methodology to standardize water measurement and management across all of its operations in an attempt to minimize its water footprint and increase efficiency.