A Water Footprint Assessment begins with setting the goals and scope of the water footprint study. Water Footprint Assessment can be undertaken for diverse purposes.
For example, it can be undertaken to:
- Support a specific business on achieving sustainable water management within their direct operations and supply chain
- Support governments and regulatory agencies on national/regional sustainable water allocations and management
- Define benchmarks for water consumption and water pollution for a specific sector of activity or production of a specific product
- Raise awareness on water sustainability issues related to water use
A Water Footprint Assessment can be tailored to meet the goals and scope of the study. The goal of the Water Footprint Assessment clarifies what you will do in the subsequent steps: accounting, sustainability assessment and response formulation. The scope of the assessment defines the spatial and temporal scale of the study, for example whether the focus will be global or within a single catchment, whether it will span one year or multiple years, whether it will include some or all of the value chain, address one product or a facility or an entire company.
Together, the goal and scope indicate which data will be used, how each subsequent step of the assessment will be approached and the level of detail required to achieve the desired results.