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Water Resources for Sustainable Healthy Diets: State of the Art and Outlook

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), 21027 Ispra, Italy
Water 2020, 12(11), 3224; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113224
Received: 21 September 2020 / Revised: 26 October 2020 / Accepted: 29 October 2020 / Published: 18 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In Memory of Prof. Arjen Y. Hoekstra)
Sustainable healthy diets are high on the research and policy agendas. One of the crucial resources to provide such diets are water resources. This paper provides a brief overview of the current research state regarding this topic, with a focus on the water footprint concept, as latter quantifies water use along a supply chain. The water footprint (WF) quantifies blue and green water consumption, as both these water resources are essential for food and energy production as well as for the environment. Different kinds of information are embedded in a dietary WF and different data sources and modelling approaches exist, leading to WF dietary amounts that are not always directly comparable. A full sustainability assessment of a dietary WF encompasses three components: (1) an equity assessment of the total WF amount; (2) an efficiency assessment for each food item in the diet as well as (3) an impact assessment (blue water stress and green water scarcity) for each food item in the diet. The paper concludes with an outlook on future research on the topic, listing the following points: (1) future clarity in system boundary and modelling assumptions, with comparison of results between different approaches; (2) full sustainability assessments including all three components; (3) dietary footprint family assessments with the WF as one member; (4) WF assessments for multiple dietary regimes with support to the development of local dietary guidelines and (5) assessment of the synergies with LCA-based mid-point (scarcity-weighted WF) and end-point (especially human health) indicators and evaluation of the validity and empirical significance of these two indicators View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable healthy diet; water resources; water; water footprint; food; diet sustainable healthy diet; water resources; water; water footprint; food; diet
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vanham, D. Water Resources for Sustainable Healthy Diets: State of the Art and Outlook. Water 2020, 12, 3224. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113224

AMA Style

Vanham D. Water Resources for Sustainable Healthy Diets: State of the Art and Outlook. Water. 2020; 12(11):3224. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113224

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vanham, Davy. 2020. "Water Resources for Sustainable Healthy Diets: State of the Art and Outlook" Water 12, no. 11: 3224. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113224

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