Addressing water quality in water footprinting: current status, methods and limitations

dc.contributor.authorMikosch, Natalia
dc.contributor.authorBerger, Markus
dc.contributor.authorFinkbeiner, Matthias
dc.date.accessioned2021-03-12T07:37:50Z
dc.date.available2021-03-12T07:37:50Z
dc.date.issued2020-11-16
dc.description.abstractPurpose: In contrast to water consumption, water pollution has gained less attention in water footprinting so far. Unlike water scarcity impact assessment, on which a consensus has recently been achieved, there is no agreement on how to address water quality deterioration in water footprinting. This paper provides an overview of existing water footprint methods to calculate impacts associated with water pollution and discusses their strengths and limitations using an illustrative example. Methods: The methods are described and applied to a case study for the wastewater generated in textile processing. The results for two scenarios with different water quality parameters are evaluated against each other and the water scarcity footprint (WSF). Finally, methodological aspects, strengths and limitations of each method are analysed and discussed and recommendations for the methods application are provided. Results and discussion: Two general impact assessment approaches exist to address water quality in water footprinting: the Water Degradation Footprint (WDF) calculates the impacts associated with the propagation of released pollutants in the environment and their uptake by the population and ecosystem, while the Water Availability Footprint (WAF) quantifies the impacts related to the water deprivation, when polluted water cannot be used. Overall, seven methods to consider water quality in water footprinting were identified, which rely upon one or a combination of WDF, WAF and WSF. Methodological scopes significantly vary regarding the inventory requirements and provided results (a single-score or several impact categories). The case study demonstrated that the methods provide conflicting results concerning which scenario is less harmful with regard to the water pollution. Conclusions: This paper provides a review of the water pollution assessment methods in water footprinting and analyses their modelling choices and resulting effects on the WF. With regard to the identified inconsistencies, we reveal the urgent need for a guidance for the methods application to provide robust results and allow a consistent evaluation of the water quality in water footprinting.en
dc.description.sponsorshipTU Berlin, Open-Access-Mittel – 2020en
dc.description.sponsorshipBMBF, 02WGR1422B, GROW - Verbundprojekt InoCottonGROW: Innovative Impulse zur Verringerung des Wasser-Fußabdrucks der globalen Baumwoll-Textilindustrie in Richtung UN-Nachhaltigkeitsziele, Teilprojekt 2en
dc.identifier.eissn1614-7502
dc.identifier.issn0948-3349
dc.identifier.urihttps://depositonce.tu-berlin.de/handle/11303/12804
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.14279/depositonce-11604
dc.language.isoen
dc.relation.ispartof10.14279/depositonce-12444en
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.subject.ddc577 Ökologieen
dc.subject.otherlife cycle impact assessmenten
dc.subject.otherwater deprivation footprinten
dc.subject.otherwater footprinten
dc.subject.otherwater pollutionen
dc.subject.otherwater qualityen
dc.titleAddressing water quality in water footprinting: current status, methods and limitationsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.type.versionpublishedVersionen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.doi10.1007/s11367-020-01838-1en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.journaltitleThe International Journal of Life Cycle Assessmenten
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublishernameSpringerNatureen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublisherplaceLondon [u.a.]en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pageend174en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pagestart157en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.volume26en
tub.accessrights.dnbfreeen
tub.affiliationFak. 3 Prozesswissenschaften>Inst. Technischen Umweltschutz>FG Technischer Umweltschutz / Sustainable Engineeringde
tub.affiliation.facultyFak. 3 Prozesswissenschaftende
tub.affiliation.groupFG Technischer Umweltschutz / Sustainable Engineeringde
tub.affiliation.instituteInst. Technischen Umweltschutzde
tub.publisher.universityorinstitutionTechnische Universität Berlinen
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