Project #4378

Water Footprint: A New Concept for Sustainable Water Utilities

Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Ms. Maureen Hodgins
Utility Management
Customer Relations & Stakeholder Engagement


The project (1) synthesized and assessed the growing body of work on the concept of "virtual water" that represents the total water embedded in consumer goods and activities, commonly called "water footprints," (2) considered questions of whether and how the concept and metrics of water footprints may help in conveying the value of water to a public that is often unwilling to pay the full cost of the water on which they depend, (3) identified opportunities for drinking water utilities to integrate the water footprint into appropriate planning and communications to support a sustainable water utility and sustainable communities, and (4) proposed a water footprint road map for leadership, research, or integration opportunities for utilities and the water sector. Research partners: UKWIR and CSIRO. Published in 2014.