Water Footprint and Consumer Products

  • Ignacio CazcarroEmail author
  • Iñaki Arto
Part of the Environmental Footprints and Eco-design of Products and Processes book series (EFEPP)


Water footprints of specific crops, animal, food products and forest products may typically be better captured by the study of the chains of these products with techniques under frameworks such as life cycle assessment (LCA), given the great heterogeneity in water intensities among most of these categories. Apart from these type of studies, with process analysis/specific supply chains view, also studies on Water Footprinting have been developed making use of more top-down techniques and analyses, such as extended environmental input-output (IO) models. In this regard, we examine these results making use of global multiregional IO (MRIO) databases such as World Input-Output Database (WIOD) and EXIOBASE. With them we can quantify the water footprints (WFs) of production and WFs of consumption of all (somehow aggregated) consumer products for different years in the period of 1995–2009. Results can be disaggregated by sectors and consumption categories, and compared with those results being obtained from the process analysis types of techniques. This lead us to characterize the appropriateness of each methods depending on the types of consumer products, considering also the type of supply chains up to the consumers, the boundary conditions established, etc. In particular MRIOs may suffer from aggregation errors, but also in an increasingly interconnected and globalized world they may have a role for WFs, especially to get industrial and even services ones, particularly for the computations of blue and grey water. Also avenues for integration of methods and open and future lines of research are discussed.


Water footprint Multi-regional input-output models Consumer products WIOD 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic AnalysisARAID-Aragonese Agency for Research and Development, Agrifood Institute of Aragon, University of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.BC3-Basque Centre for Climate Change – Klima Aldaketa IkergaiBilbaoSpain

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