Water Footprint Symposium: where next for water footprint and water assessment methodology?
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Recognizing the need for a comprehensive review of the tools and metrics for the quantification and assessment of water footprints, and allowing for the opportunity for open discussion on the challenges and future of water footprinting methodology, an international symposium on water footprint was organized. The Water Footprint Symposium was held in December 2013 at the University of Leeds, UK. In particular, four areas were highlighted for discussion: water footprint and agriculture, quantification of water footprint, industrial water footprint, and from theory to practice. Discussion was organized to focus on the “prioritization of water footprint research & applications to practical sectors”. The concept of water footprinting has helped to better communicate water management and assessment among different research and user communities. Significant research progress has been made in the relations between water footprint and agriculture, quantification of water footprint, industrial water footprint, and the transition from theory to practice. Future water footprint research needs to further enhance assessment accuracy, improve sustainability assessment methodology, develop databases, address uncertainties, and prioritize application by government and in practical sectors. More information on the symposium can be found on the water@leeds website: http://www.wateratleeds.org/conferences/2013/water-footprint-symposium.
KeywordsLife Cycle Assessment Water Footprint Virtual Water Heihe River Basin Blue Water
We are grateful to financial support from the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (2012DFA91530); the Natural Environment Research Council, UK; the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41161140353); the 1st Youth Excellent Talents Program of the Organization Department of the Central Committee; and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (TD-JC-2013-2). We also thank the following colleagues for participating in the symposium, giving presentations, and participating in the following discussion: Tony Allan (King’s College London), Jon Lovett (University of Leeds), Bruce Lankford (University of East Anglia), Chris Perry (independent consultant), Keith Richards (University of Cambridge), Ana Serrano and Rosa Duarte (University of Zaragoza), Judith Thornton (University of Leeds), Justin Abbott (ARUP), Jean-Yves Cherruault (Sustain), Hugh Fell (Water Value), Peter Easton (Easton Consult, on behalf of the European Water Partnership, EWP), and Yufeng Zou (Northwest A&F University).
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