DIN Standards Committee Principles of Environmental Protection
DIN EN ISO 14046
Environmental management - Water footprint - Principles, requirements and guidelines (ISO 14046:2014); German and English version EN ISO 14046:2016
Umweltmanagement - Wasser-Fußabdruck - Grundsätze, Anforderungen und Leitlinien (ISO 14046:2014); Deutsche und Englische Fassung EN ISO 14046:2016
There is a growing demand for assessing and reporting water footprints. Various methodologies exist to do so and currently these methodologies emphasise different aspects related to water. There is therefore a need to ensure consistency in assessing and reporting water footprints. This International Standard specifies principles, requirements and guidelines related to water footprint assessment of products, processes and organizations based on life cycle assessment (LCA). This International Standard provides principles, requirements and guidelines for conducting and reporting a water footprint assessment as a stand-alone assessment, or as part of a more comprehensive environmental assessment. Only air and soil emissions that impact water quality are included in the assessment, and not all air and soil emissions are included. The result of a water footprint assessment is a single value or a profile of impact indicator results. Whereas reporting is within the scope of this International Standard, communication of water footprint results, for example in the form of labels or declarations, is outside the scope of this International Standard. Specific requirements and guidelines for organizations are given in Annex A. This International Standard is expected to benefit organizations, governments and other interested parties worldwide by providing transparency, consistency, reproducibility and credibility for assessing and reporting the water footprint of products, processes or organizations. A water footprint assessment conducted according to this International Standard - is based on a life cycle assessment (according to ISO 14044); - is modular (that is, the water footprint of different life cycle stages can be summed to represent the water footprint); - identifies potential environmental impacts related to water; - includes relevant geographical and temporal dimensions; - identifies quantity of water use and changes in water quality; - utilizes hydrological knowledge. A water footprint assessment can assist in: a) assessing the magnitude of potential environmental impacts related to water; b) identifying opportunities to reduce water related potential environmental impacts associated with products at various stages in their life cycle as well as processes and organizations; c) strategic risk management related to water; d) facilitating water efficiency and optimization of water management at product, process and organizational levels; e) informing decision-makers in industry, government or non-governmental organizations of their potential environmental impacts related to water (for example, for the purpose of strategic planning, priority setting, product or process design or redesign, decisions about investment of resources); f) providing consistent and reliable information, based on scientific evidence for reporting water footprint results. The text of ISO 14046:2014 has been prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 207 "Environmental management", Subcommittee SC 5 "Life cycle assessment" of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and has been taken over by CCMC as EN ISO 14046:2016. The national interests during preparation of the standard were represented by Working Committee NA 172-00-03 AA "Ökobilanzen und umweltbezogene Kennzeichnung" ("Life cycle assessment and environmental labeling") at DIN Standards Committee Principles of Environmental Protection (NAGUS).