Water Footprint Compensation

Launching Water Footprint Compensation

A globally novel method to accelerate progress on SDG6. Official side-event of the United Nations Water Conference, 22-24th March, New York

Water Footprint Implementation (WFI), together with academic and private sector partners, are launching Water Footprint Compensation, a novel method for mitigating the negative impacts of water consumption, and a platform for matching organizations with fitting compensation projects.

During this official UN Conference side-event, WFI and partners Acacia Water, Akvo Foundation , 11th Hour Racing Team and more, will launch the draft Water Footprint Compensation Method, give a sneak peek into the Project Platform & present 3 ongoing Case Studies.

To implement compensation projects, easy access to water data is crucial. This is why WFI has joined IGRAC (International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre) on their #OpenWaterData campaign and commitment. IGRAC will present their campaign and benefits thereof.

Attendees will be asked to participate through group discussions and will be invited to partner-up on the worldwide implementation of Water Footprint Compensation.

The session will close with the announcement and signing of the Water Footprint Compensation and the Open Water Data Commitments for the Water Action Agenda.

Do you wish to sign the commitment and support us in our Water Footprint Compensation journey?

Event Coordinates

Date: 24th of March

Time: 11.30 – 13.30

Location: Water House at the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, 666 Third Avenue, 21st floor

Register at: ioana.dobrescu@waterfootprintimplementation.com


What is Water Footprint Compensation

To fast-track our goal of making fair and smart use of the world’s fresh water, Water Footprint Implementation is helping companies take their next big step by introducing the ground-breaking Water Footprint Compensation Concept.

Despite efforts in recent decades, pressure on water resources worldwide is increasing in terms of pollution and overconsumption. Regulatory efforts to prevent further pressure on water resources need to be complemented by restorative actions at the local or river basin level not only by water authorities but also by private sector water users. All our industry sectors, be it food or textiles, energy or ICT, often contribute to the pollution and depletion of freshwater resources worldwide without being aware of their impact due to a lack of transparency in the supply chain. At the same time, many private sector actors are ready to invest in offsetting the negative consequences of their water consumption.

The Water Footprint Compensation concept consists of two elements, a novel method describing the steps an organization has to follow to achieve compensation, and a digital platform where compensation projects will be showcased, matched with compensators and where disclosure on monitoring and evaluation will be reflected.

In the method we propose, Water Footprint Compensation implies that a water user can mitigate the negative impacts of their water consumption by taking action to replenish, restore or protect the water system from which the water has been abstracted. ​Compensating for a Water Footprint means the water user has first measured and assessed the sustainability of both their direct and indirect (supply chain) water consumption. Compensation is the fourth and final step that aims to offset the ‘residual water footprint’, the amount of water that is unavoidable for production after measures to avoid, reduce, or reuse have been taken.

The method is currently developed in version beta and will be launched during the UN Water Week side-event. The first beta version is meant to provide the basis for discussion and further maturing. In the next development phase a group of experts from academia, the private sector, and NGOs/CSOs will be convened to review and provide feedback on the method and to jointly develop a fully-fledged Water Footprint Compensation Framework. Version 1.0 of this framework is expected to be a living document that will continue to be developed, expanded, and improved upon as new compensation technologies or practices evolve, and as learnings emerge from the monitoring and evaluation of projects in the field.

To learn more or receive the Water Footprint Compensation working paper, please register at:

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Pilot Projects