Special Issue "Water Footprint in Life Cycle Assessment: From Theory to Practice"

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessandro Manzardo
Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Padova, Padua, Italy
Interests: water footprint; life-cycle assessment; organizational life-cycle assessment; decision-making; sustainability
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Antonio Scipioni
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padua, Italy
Interests: environmental management; life cycle assessment; sustainability assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water has become central to international debate. Its availability is becoming an area of concern for an increasing number of stakeholders around the world so tools and models are needed to contribute to the sustainability of its use. In recent times, Water Footprint in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) emerged as a key method to evaluate the potential impacts related to water in a life cycle perspective and to support informed decisions related to its use. This special issue is intended to collect and explore contributions on methodological developments related to Water Footprint in LCA, as well as presenting a variety of applications and case studies to support future developments of the method. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subjected to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications in the area of water and more generally environment.

Dr. Alessandro Manzardo
Dr. Antonio Scipioni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Environments is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Water Scarcity Footprint
  • Water Degradation Footprint
  • Water Footprint Inventory Analysis
  • Water Footprint Impact Assessment
  • Models and analytical tools for environmental management and sustainability
  • Methodological developments in Water Footprint Assessment
  • Applications and case study of Water Footprint Assessment in LCA

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
How Inter-Basin Transfer of Water Alters Basin Water Stress Used for Water Footprint Characterization
Environments 2018, 5(9), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5090105 - 12 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Water footprint assessments contribute to a better understanding of potential environmental impacts related to water and have become essential in water management. The methodologies for characterizing such assessments, however, usually fail to reflect temporal and spatial variations at local scales. In this paper, [...] Read more.
Water footprint assessments contribute to a better understanding of potential environmental impacts related to water and have become essential in water management. The methodologies for characterizing such assessments, however, usually fail to reflect temporal and spatial variations at local scales. In this paper, we employ four widely-used characterization factors, which were originally developed with global estimates of water demand and availability, to evaluate the impact that inter-basin transfer (IBT) of water has on water risk assessments and, consequently, on the evaluation of the soundness of water cycle. The study was conducted for two major river basins in Japan, where diversion channels were built to move water from the Tone river basin to the Arakawa river basin. Considering IBT, the available water in the Arakawa river basin increases a 45%, reducing the characterization factors a 44% on average and denoting their tendency to overestimate the risk in this basin, while the Tone river basin increased the characterization factors a 28% on average by IBT. Moreover, with a simple example we show how ambiguity in the definition of some characterization factors may cause significant changes in the result of the assessments. Finally, we concluded that local water footprint characterization can be more helpful in local assessment of water resources if the results are unanimous, Targetable, Replicable, Ameliorable, Comparable, and Engageable (uTRACE). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint in Life Cycle Assessment: From Theory to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Assessment and Water Footprint of Hydrogen Production Methods: From Conventional to Emerging Technologies
Environments 2018, 5(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5020024 - 06 Feb 2018
Cited by 27
Abstract
A common sustainability issue, arising in production systems, is the efficient use of resources for providing goods or services. With the increased interest in a hydrogen (H2) economy, the life-cycle environmental performance of H2 production has special significance for assisting [...] Read more.
A common sustainability issue, arising in production systems, is the efficient use of resources for providing goods or services. With the increased interest in a hydrogen (H2) economy, the life-cycle environmental performance of H2 production has special significance for assisting in identifying opportunities to improve environmental performance and to guide challenging decisions and select between technology paths. Life cycle impact assessment methods are rapidly evolving to analyze multiple environmental impacts of the production of products or processes. This study marks the first step in developing process-based streamlined life cycle analysis (LCA) of several H2 production pathways combining life cycle impacts at the midpoint (17 problem-oriented) and endpoint (3 damage-oriented) levels using the state-of-the-art impact assessment method ReCiPe 2016. Steam reforming of natural gas, coal gasification, water electrolysis via proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM), solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC), biomass gasification and reforming, and dark fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass were analyzed. An innovative aspect is developed in this study is an analysis of water consumption associated with H2 production pathways by life-cycle stage to provide a better understanding of the life cycle water-related impacts on human health and natural environment. For water-related scope, Water scarcity footprint (WSF) quantified using Available WAter REmaining (AWARE) method was applied as a stand-alone indicator. The paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each production pathway, identify the drivers of environmental impact, quantify midpoint environmental impact and its influence on the endpoint environmental performance. The findings of this study could serve as a useful theoretical reference and practical basis to decision-makers of potential environmental impacts of H2 production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint in Life Cycle Assessment: From Theory to Practice)
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Open AccessProject Report
Water Footprint (ISO 14046) in Latin America, State of the Art and Recommendations for Assessment and Communication
Environments 2018, 5(11), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5110114 - 26 Oct 2018
Abstract
Due to the importance of water management, and good governance for humanity’s wellbeing and future, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda has established the global Water Goal (SDG 6). Mobilization of the different sectors is required. The private sector has an important role, and [...] Read more.
Due to the importance of water management, and good governance for humanity’s wellbeing and future, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda has established the global Water Goal (SDG 6). Mobilization of the different sectors is required. The private sector has an important role, and it is increasingly aware of the substantial water risks for business. Thus, it is timely to quantify and monitor potential environmental impacts with an international standard (ISO 14046:2014), in order to prioritize investments to reduce the direct and indirect impacts from water uses within the production of goods and services. The objectives of this project were: (1) To scale knowledge, networking and generate leadership through exchanges among 43 professionals from 14 Latin American countries; (2) to develop recommendations to improve coherence in the quantification, verification and communication of the water footprint in the region; and (3) to structure and publish the recommendations, available tools/methods and key challenges in open access guidelines. This effort resulted in an active and continuous-growth community for water footprint practice in Latin America. This article describes the process to achieve the Regional Guidelines and other results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Footprint in Life Cycle Assessment: From Theory to Practice)
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