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NEW | Water Footprinting in SimaPro 8

The new version of LCA Software, SimaPro 8, includes water-use data, regionalized water flows, eight water footprint methods and spatially differentiated impact assessment.

By Rimousky Menkveld on November 18, 2013

New in SimaPro 8 | Water Footprinting

 

SimaPro 8 New Features| Regionalised Water Flows & Eight Water Footprint Methods

In SimaPro 8 we have implemented regionalised water flows from the Ecoinvent v3 database and eight water footprint methods, to allow for spatially differentiated impact assessment. With the release of SimaPro 8 you will finally be able to carry out a water footprint.

 

Measuring  Water Use Impacts

Measuring water use impacts has become easier. Prior to this release, in SimaPro you could only measure the total amount of water used in your product’s life cycle. While this provides you with useful information, it does not tell you whether your water use is sustainable.

 

Regionalised Impact Factors for Water Flows

In SimaPro 8, we have included the latest inventory datasets from Ecoinvent 3. Water flows are specified by origin, at the country or regional level, and by source, groundwater, rivers and lakes. The water footprint methods in SimaPro 8 are also spatially differentiated at the country or regional level, meaning that they provide different regionalised impact factors depending on where the water is extracted from.

 

Comprehensive Impact assessment | Eight Water footprint Methods

Thanks to the implementation of eight water footprint methods in SimaPro 8, it is possible to carry out a comprehensive impact assessment. If you need a simple indicator you can select a midpoint method. We have included Pfister et al. 2009, Boulay et al. 2011 (simplified), Hoekstra 2012, and Ecological scarcity 2006. These methods all measure freshwater scarcity. Scarcity refers to a water availability assessment based on quantity. The main differences between these methods are related to the data source used or the scarcity equation applied; either a withdrawal-to-availability ratio or consumption-to-availability ratio.

 

If you need to understand damages of water use on human health, ecosystem quality and resource depletion you can use an endpoint method. Boulay et al. 2011 and Motoshita et al. 2010 measure only impacts on human health but are very comprehensive. Pfister et al. 2009 measures water use impacts in all three areas of protection and is consistent with the impact assessment methods Eco-indicator 99 and ReCiPe.

 

Interpretation of Water Footprint Results

SimaPro 8 has features that help you assess the completeness of your water footprint results. If you want to see whether important water flows have been omitted from your method you can use the ‘checks’ tab. You can also assess which flows and processes have the highest contribution towards the water footprint.

 

If you are interested in learning more about water footprinting in SimaPro 8, we invite you to join our free webinar or the LCA and SimaPro Training. Please contact us for more information about the SimaPro 8 features.

Contact the author

Rimousky joined the Consultancy team in 2010, as a Technical Consultant. She focussed in product sustainability and supply chain sustainability; and provided Life Cycle Assessment and SimaPro training. Rimousky worked at PRé from 2010 until 2014.

Contact Rimousky Menkveld
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