Growing Blue has launched the Water Impact Index (WIIX) Calculator, a web-based tool to measure the impact of human activity on local waters. The tool was designed by Growing Blue founding partner Veolia Water.
Most water footprint calculators use water volume as the indicator to assess impact. Water use can range from drinking to manufacturing processes and farming. Volume-only calculators do not consider other important variables, such as water quality or availability.
The WIIX Calculator takes into account water resource stress factors and water quality. Paired with a traditional cost analysis to identify the ideal return on investment, it represents a true measure of impact and offers insight on how to reduce that impact, possibly leading to cost savings.
One goal of the calculator is to foster collaboration and dialogue around water and carbon measurement: The tool can complement a carbon footprint analysis. Viewing water and carbon together provides a bigger picture of challenges to sustainability.
The calculator is designed for use by those who have an operational understanding of water and wastewater systems and are familiar with water chemistry and the energy-water nexus. Users can input specific facility and water resource data, including water withdrawal, water released, chemicals used, waste produced and energy consumed.
This information is used to generate a report that indicates where the most significant impacts to the water resource occur. When the results are used with a traditional cost analysis report, decision makers can determine process changes and upgrades that will have the most positive impact on the water resource and the highest return on investment.
Growing Blue serves as a resource for information on water and aims to increase awareness of global water challenges and the need for thoughtful solutions. Its website is managed by representatives from the non-profit, academic and corporate sectors including The Nature Conservancy, Clean Water America Alliance, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Global Water Intelligence, Cardno ENTRIX and Veolia Water.
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