SubjectsSubjects(version: 955)
Course, academic year 2023/2024
Water footprint - AM240023
Title: Water footprint
Guaranteed by: Department of Sustainability and Product Ecology (241)
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Technology
Actual: from 2021
Semester: winter
Points: winter s.:2
E-Credits: winter s.:2
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:1/1, MC [HT]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: Ansorge Libor Ing. Ph.D.
Water footprint addresses impacts associated with both direct and indirect water use throughout the life cycle of the system under assessment. Water footprint involves two methodological approaches – volumetric and impact-oriented. The volumetric approach deals with the evaluation of the amount of water consumed directly and indirectly to produce a product, to provide a service or process, or water consumption in a defined entity (organisation, territory, etc.). The impact-oriented approach addresses the assessment of water use impacts on the principles of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The water footprint (both volumetric and impact-oriented) is thus one of the tools for assessing the sustainability of the use of water resources and provides input to the policy makers at both public and institutional level. Users of the water footprint assessment outputs are both water managers and environmental and CSR specialists.
Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (10.12.2020)
Aim of the course

Students will be able to:

1. Identify water needs throughout the life cycle of the system under assessment

2. Assess product systems from the perspective of water resource intensity and water use impacts

3. Assess the relevance of water use in the life cycle of the system under assessment and evaluate the sustainability of water resource use and identify hotspots

4. Present the results of the water footprint assessment in a clear and understandable way for the public and decision-makers

5. Use the results obtained in particular for:

a. identification of product system hotspots in relation to water resource use

b. assessing the sustainability of water use and proposing measures to reduce pressure on water resources

c. product and process design (minimising environmental stress and water resource use)

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (10.12.2020)


FRANKE, Nicolas A., Hülya BOYACIOGLU a Arjen Ysbert HOEKSTRA, 2013. The grey water footprint accounting: tier 1 supporting guidelines. Delft, The Netherlands: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. Water research report series, 65.

HOEKSTRA, Arjen Y., Ashok Kumar CHAPAGAIN, Maite Martinez ALDAYA a Mesfin M. MEKONNEN, 2011. The water footprint assessment manual: setting the global standard. London ; Washington, DC: Earthscan. ISBN 978-1-84971-279-8.

ISO, 2014. Environmental management - Water footprint - Principles, requirements and guidelines. 14046:2014. Geneva: International Organization for Standardization.

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (13.01.2021)

1. Introduction (What is water footprint, history, differences in approaches to water footprinting)

2. Product system (identification of product system, water use, WEF nexus, allocation)

3. Time and spatial scale (meaning, sensitivity, variability)

4. Volumetric Water footprint methodology (water footprint study phases)

5. Green and Blue water footprint (calculation methods for different product systems)

6. Grey water footprint (data, calculation methods for different product systems)

7. Sustainability of water resource use (assessment methods, approaches, restrictions)

8. Summary – volumetric water footprint (latest trends, usability and real applications)

9. Impact-oriented water footprint methodology (impact water footprint study phases)

10. Impact categories and characterisation models (environmental mechanism, overview of categories and characterisation models)

11. Data and processing (data availability, relevance and impacts of regionalisation)

12. Water scarcity footprint (the models used, their strengths and weaknesses)

13. Degradative water footprint (models used, their strengths and weaknesses)

14. Summary – impact-oriented water footprint (latest trends, usability and real applications)

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (10.12.2020)
Registration requirements

• Completion of the course Product Ecology is an advantage

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (10.12.2020)
Course completion requirements

• submit all homework,

• get at least 60% of points in the written part of the exam and answer at least 50% of the questions correctly in the oral part of the exam.

Last update: Sýkora Vladimír (10.12.2020)