On Wednesday the 18th August 2010, the NZLCM Centre organised Technical Workshop on Water Footprinting at the MAF offices in Wellington. The workshop was well attended by a range of people from industry, regional and national government and practitioners.
The session began with presentations on:
Following on from the presentations, a series of group discussions were held to discuss:
It was agreed that water footprinting would only be useful if used appropriately, alongside other environmental indicators, and as a “big picture” tool. It was also agreed that it would be important to ensure consumers and growers had an understanding of the meaning of water footprints. However, it is also important to remember that “you cannot manage what you do not measure”.
New Zealand is already well positioned to calculate water footprints with the monitoring measures being developed at the Ministry for the Environment, and it is likely that water footprints may provide a competitive advantage to at least some exported products. The next step for New Zealand will be to proactively prepare for measuring and monitoring of water footprints as the ISO Working Group on Water Footprinting develops an international standard. This will mean entities collecting data (on water availability and use) and developing implementation plans for continuous improvement.