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Water 2017, 9(6), 438; doi:10.3390/w9060438

Advancing Water Footprint Assessment Research: Challenges in Monitoring Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6

1
Twente Water Centre, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
2
Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, 259770 Singapore, Singapore
3
Water Footprint Network, Bezuidenhoutseweg 2, 2594 AV The Hague, The Netherlands
4
Water Resources Management group, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 15 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint Assessment)
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Abstract

This special issue is a collection of recent papers in the field of Water Footprint Assessment (WFA), an emerging area of research focused on the analysis of freshwater use, scarcity, and pollution in relation to consumption, production, and trade. As increasing freshwater scarcity forms a major risk to the global economy, sustainable management of water resources is a prerequisite to development. We introduce the papers in this special issue by relating them to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 of the United Nations, the goal on water. We will particularly articulate how each paper drives the understanding needed to achieve target 6.3 on water quality and pollution and target 6.4 on water-use efficiency and water scarcity. Regarding SDG 6, we conclude that it lacks any target on using green water more efficiently, and while addressing efficiency and sustainability of water use, it lacks a target on equitable sharing of water. The latter issue is receiving limited attention in research as well. By primarily focusing on water-use efficiency in farming and industries at the local level, to a lesser extent to using water sustainably at the level of total water systems (like drainage basins, aquifers), and largely ignoring issues around equitable water use, understanding of our water problems and proposed solutions will likely remain unbalanced. View Full-Text
Keywords: water footprint assessment; virtual water trade; sustainable development goals; sustainability; water resources management; water productivity; water scarcity; water pollution; IPAT equation; consumption water footprint assessment; virtual water trade; sustainable development goals; sustainability; water resources management; water productivity; water scarcity; water pollution; IPAT equation; consumption
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hoekstra, A.Y.; Chapagain, A.K.; van Oel, P.R. Advancing Water Footprint Assessment Research: Challenges in Monitoring Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6. Water 2017, 9, 438.

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