LCA Characterisation of Freshwater Use on Human Health and Through Compensation

  • Anne-Marie Boulay
  • Cecile Bulle
  • Louise Deschênes
  • Manuele Margni
Conference paper


Impacts from water unavailability are not yet fully quantified in LCA. Water displacement from the original water body (consumption) or quality degradation of released water reduces water availability to human users. This can potentially affect human health through diseases or malnutrition or, if financial resources are available, adaptation can occur, which may generate indirect environmental impacts through the use of backup technologies such as water treatment, desalination, import of water or agricultural goods, etc. This paper proposes an inventory and impact assessment model to evaluate these potential impacts in an LCA context. Results are presented in DALY for impacts on human health and/or as a quantified water inventory to be compensated by users adapting to a situation in which water is scarce or unavailable. A fictional example on board production illustrates the full applicability of the methodology.


Impact Category Life Cycle Impact Assessment Stress Index Water Footprint Gross National Income 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne-Marie Boulay
    • 1
  • Cecile Bulle
    • 1
  • Louise Deschênes
    • 1
  • Manuele Margni
    • 1
  1. 1.École Polytechnique de Montréal, CIRAIGMontréalCanada

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