Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 11

Agua virtual: qu es?

Agua virtual es la cantidad real de agua requerida para la fabricacin de cualquier bien o producto agrcola o industrial. Es un concepto creado en 1993 por el investigador britnico John Anthony Allan, que es clave para entender la actual crisis del agua. Por poner un ejemplo, cada espaol consume 2.740 litros de agua virtual al da! No slo consumimos el agua que nos bebemos o la que escapa por el plato de la ducha mientras nos aseamos (en un espaol eso equivaldra, en sus estimaciones ms elevadas, a unos 200 litros al da). Pero es que tambin consumimos agua, y mucho ms, cuando comemos, escribimos en un folio, nos vestimos, o nos hacemos con cualquier producto. Porque en todo hay un gasto de agua, y es importante conocer bien nuestras necesidades para adelantarnos a posibles carencias, y para adaptar nuestras polticas industriales tambin. Cmo se calcula? Tomemos un ejemplo extremo: nada ms y nada menos que 16.000 litros de agua son los que se necesitan para que puedas comerte ese fantstico bistec de ternera de un kilo. Para que salieron tales nmeros, se ha calculado la cantidad de agua requerida para hacer crecer los pastos que alimentan la vaca, la que se ha precisado para refrigerar y almacenar esa carne, la necesaria para transportarla, y multitud de otros detalles y momentos del proceso que nos son habitualmente invisibles. Gracias al concepto de agua virtual puede calcularse si un pas es exportador o importador de agua. E incluso se puede orientar el comercio siguiendo estos modelos para hacer ms racional el uso que le damos a este bien escaso. Por ejemplo, a Espaa le conviene vender sus tomates fuera (producir un kilo requiere de 200 litros) y, en cambio, comprar de fuera el trigo (el kilo requiere de 600 litros) a pases con ms recursos hdricos. De hecho, ya hablamos aqu del problema del agua en India. Existen otros parmetros para medir este tipo de cuestiones, como el de huella hdrica, sobre el que nos extenderemos en un futuro post. http://www.ecologiablog.com/post/225/agua-virtual-que-es links dentro del artculo: http://portal.unesco.org/es/ev.phpURL_ID=32057&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html crisis del agua

http://www.ecologiablog.com/post/92/la-crisis-del-agua-en-india crisis del agua ne la india http://hispagua.cedex.es/documentacion/especiales/especial_huella_hidrica/introduccion.htm huella hdrica

Huella hdrica La huella hdrica o huella de agua se define como el volumen total de agua dulce usado para producir los bienes y servicios producidos por una empresa, o consumidos por un individuo o comunidad. El uso de agua se mide en el volumen de agua consumida, evaporada o contaminada, ya sea por unidad de tiempo para individuos y comunidades, o por unidad de masa para empresas. La huella de agua se puede calcular para cualquier grupo definido de consumidores (por ejemplo, individuos, familias, pueblos, ciudades, provincias, estados o naciones) o productores (por ejemplo, organismos pblicos, empresas privadas o el sector econmico). La huella de agua es un indicador geogrfico explcito, que no solo muestra volmenes de uso y contaminacin de agua, sino tambin las ubicaciones.1 Sin embargo, la huella de agua no proporciona informacin sobre cmo el agua consumida afecta positiva o negativamente a los recursos locales de agua, los ecosistemas y los medios de subsistencia. Historia El concepto de huella hdrica fue introducido en 2002 por el profesor Arjen Hoekstra de UNESCOIHE como un indicador alternativo del uso del agua.2 El concepto fue refinado y los mtodos de contabilidad se establecieron en una serie de publicaciones realizadas por Ashok Kumar Chapagain y Arjen Hoekstra en el Instituto UNESCO-IHE para la Educacin. Las publicaciones ms detalles sobre cmo calcular las huellas del agua es el informe de 2004 sobre la 'huella hdrica de las naciones de la UNESCO-IHE'.3 La cooperacin entre las instituciones globales lderes en el campo ha llevado a la creacin de la Water Footprint Network en 2008 que tiene como objetivo coordinar los esfuerzos para desarrollar y difundir el conocimiento sobre los conceptos de huella hdrica, mtodos y herramientas. Mtodo de clculo La huella hdrica o huella del agua a diferencia del agua virtual, clasifica las fuentes de agua, es decir, distingue entre tres componentes: el agua azul, el agua verde y el agua gris. La huella de agua azul es el volumen de agua dulce consumida de los recursos hdricos del planeta (aguas superficiales y subterrneas). La huella del agua verde es el volumen de agua evaporada de los recursos hdricos del planeta (agua de lluvia almacenada en el suelo como humedad). La huella de agua gris es el volumen de agua contaminada que se asocia con la produccin de los bienes y servicios. Este ltimo puede ser estimado como el volumen de agua que se requiere para diluir los contaminantes hasta el punto de que la calidad del agua se mantiene en o por encima de las normas acordadas de calidad del agua. Las unidades en las que trabajan estos indicadores dependen del tipo de sector al que se le mide la huella hdrica. As, por ejemplo, la huella hdrica de un producto de carne X puede medirse en [m3/kg], representando la cantidad de agua necesaria para producir un kilo de carne X en toda la cadena de suministro. Por otro lado, la huella hdrica de un individuo puede medirse en [m3/ao], representando la cantidad de agua consumida a lo largo del tiempo.

Este indicador puede apoyar mejoras eficientes en las gestiones de agua y ser un buen soporte para tomar conciencia acerca de nuestros consumos hdricos. Holanda y Espaa han mostrado grandes avances en el desarrollo prctico de la huella del agua. Para el clculo de la Huella de un pas ya sea del agua, del carbono o ecolgica, se utiliza ampliamente el anlisis Input-Output ya que es de gran ayuda frente al Ciclo de Vida de los Productos a nivel macro.4 Para Espaa, el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente realiz el calculo de la Huella Hdrica de Espaa, sus Comunidades Autnomas y sus Demarcaciones Hidrolgicas junto con una potente herramienta de simulacin.5 Algunos ejemplos 13 000 litros de agua son necesarios para producir 1 kg de carne de vacuno; 3 920 litros de agua para producir 1 kg de pollo; 3 000 litros de agua para producir 1 kg de arroz; 2 700 litros de agua para producir 1 camiseta de algodn; 2 000 litros de agua para producir 1 kg de papel; 140 litros de agua para una taza de caf. 230 litros de agua para un gramo de oro. http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huella_hdrica Links en el artculo http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agua_azul http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agua_gris http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huella_ecolgica http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eficiencia_hdrica http://awesome.goodmagazine.com/transparency/web/trans0309walkthisway.html --comparativa visual de la huella hdrica http://www.waterfootprint.org/ http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=cal/WaterFootprintCalculator

FACTBOX: How much "virtual water" do you use every day? Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 24 Jul 2012 10:00 AM Author: Emma Batha ** This factbox is part of AlertNet's special multimedia report on water. Visit "The Battle for Water" for more** LONDON (AlertNet) - If you had a cup of coffee, a couple of slices of toast and an egg this morning, you also inadvertently consumed around 450 litres (120 gallons) of water - enough for three typical baths.

Thats a calculation made according to a global water footprint standard that seeks to measure both direct and indirect uses of water in everything from making cars to growing apples. The indicators underline that water is not just for washing and drinking. The world uses phenomenal amounts of water to produce food, clothes and other basics taken for granted every day. The water embedded in products is sometimes referred to as "virtual water". So how much of this hidden water do you use in a day? The following will give an idea. ============================================ Water maps spark concern about "liquid gold rush" EXPERT VIEWS: New water policies are key to tackling scarcity SIWI analysts Myanmar in the dark over hydropower for Asia EXPERT VIEW: World needs to start regulating water demand - World Water Council head ============================================ If you want to work out your own water footprint, the Water Footprint website has a calculator. And click here to watch anAlertNet animation about virtual water and food. * Cup of coffee (125 ml) 130 litres * Mug of tea (250 ml) 30 litres * Glass of milk (250 ml) 255 litres * Pint of beer (568 ml) 170 litres * Small glass of wine (125 ml) 110 litres * Steak (250 grams) 3,850 litres * Block of cheese (250 grams) 1,265 litres * Egg (60 grams) 200 litres * Bread (one slice) 60 litres * Rice (1 kg) 2,500 litres * Potatoes (1 kg) 290 litres * French fries (1 kg) 1,040 litres * Tomato - 50 litres * Tomato ketchup (1kg) 530 litres * Apple 125 litres * Large banana - 160 litres

* Chocolate bar (100 g) 1,700 litres * Pizza Margherita (725 g) 1,260 litres * Jeans 8,000 litres * Cotton shirt 2,500 litres * Car 50,000 litres * Biofuel (1 litre) - 3,500 litres (Sources: Water Footprint Network, Virtual Water and Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture. Estimates for many of the above can vary. 1kg = 2.2lb, 1 litre = 1.76 UK pints / 2.1 US liquid pints) Cotton Cotton is the worlds largest non-food crop. The impact its cultivation can have on water sources is seen dramatically in Central Asia's Aral Sea. Once one of the worlds largest lakes, the Aral has lost around 80 percent of its volume due to water being diverted from the rivers that feed it to boost cotton production in the arid region. (See these NASA pictures published by France 24). Globally, the average water footprint of cotton fabric is 10,000 litres/kg so a cotton shirt might use about 2,500 litres and a pair of jeans about 8,000 litres. But the footprint varies from place to place for fabric made with cotton from China its 6,000 litres/kg, from Uzbekistan 9,200 litres/kg and India 22,500 litres/kg. Its important to look not only at the size of the footprint but at what proportion of water comes from sources like rivers and lakes (known as blue water) as opposed to rain (known as green water). Blue water use is high in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, and Pakistan. Cotton production not only depletes fresh water sources but also pollutes them due to high levels of insecticide and fertiliser leaching into the groundwater. This UNESCO report on cotton points out that about 84 percent of the water footprint of cotton consumption in the European Union is located outside Europe, with major impacts particularly in India and Uzbekistan. It says cotton consumers have little incentive to take responsibility for the impact on water systems in other countries due to a lack of proper water-pricing mechanisms. Other estimates for jeans are lower. Levis, which uses cotton from the United States, says one pair of its jeans would use around 3,500 litres in a lifetime including washing. The company is trying to reduce water and pesticide consumption in the cotton industry. Meat Rising consumption of meat is likely to increase pressure on global water resources. The average footprint of the most popular meats stacks up like this: beef cattle 15,400 litres/kg, sheep 10,400 litres/kg, pig 5,990 litres/kg, goat 5,520 litres/kg and chicken 4,330 litres/kg.

But the footprint of one piece of beef or lamb may be very different from another as it depends on the production system - grazing, mixed or industrial - as well as the composition and origin of the feed. The global water footprint of beef production is about a third of the water footprint of all animal production in the world. Industrially produced beef generally uses less water than beef from mixed or grazing systems. But it uses more water from surface and ground sources, as opposed to rain water, and causes more water pollution. That means grazing systems are better for conserving water resources. Animal products generally need more water than crop products. Beef has an average footprint per calorie 20 times larger than cereals. The footprint per gram of protein is six times larger than for pulses. Click here for a table comparing food types. Bread (from wheat) The global average water footprint of wheat is 1,827 litres/kg. A kilo of flour makes about 1.15 kg bread, giving a footprint of 1,608 litres/kg. But this varies a lot depending on the origin of the wheat and how it was grown. In western Europe, the water footprint of wheat is far below the average. A French baguette (baked with French wheat) has a water footprint of 155 litres. A German roll has a footprint of about 40 litres and Dutch bread works out at about 18 litres a slice. Coffee Coffee is the worlds most valuable traded agricultural product in dollar terms. But producing it requires a lot of water each drop of coffee needs more than 1,000 drops of water. Most of it is for growing the coffee plant. The world requires about 110 billion cubic metres of water every year to keep drinking coffee. This is the same as 1.5 times the annual run-off of Europes Rhine river. Sugar Sugar is largely produced from sugar cane and sugar beet. Sugar from cane needs far more water than from beet. The footprint of refined beet sugar is about 920 litres/kg compared to 1,780 litres/kg for refined cane sugar. Sugar cane is often irrigated. Globally, surface and groundwater account for just over a quarter of the crops water footprint, but in places like Pakistans Sindh province it can be 80 percent. Sugar cane and sugar beat are also used to produce biofuels. The footprint for bio-ethanol from sugar is lower than for bio-ethanol from maize or bio-diesel from soybean. And if youre going to buy pizza buy it in France! The cheese topping accounts for about half the 1,260-litres used to produce an average pizza margherita (725 g). But the footprint varies widely between countries.

In Italy, the home of pizza, a margherita would work out at 940 litres/kg, in China 1,370 litres/kg, in the United States 1,200 litres/kg. But in France its just 540 litres/kg. Source: Water Footprint Network va http://www.trust.org/item/?map=factbox-how-much-virtual-water-do-you-use-every-day/ links en documento. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/water-maps-spark-concern-about-liquid-gold-rush/ http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/expert-views-new-water-policies-are-key-to-tackling-scarcitysiwi-analysts/ http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/expert-view-world-needs-to-start-regulating-water-demandworld-water-council-head/

Water foot print Global Water Footprint Standard The Global Water Footprint Standard developed through a joint effort of the Water Footprint Network, its partners, and scientists of the University of Twente in the Netherlands has garnered international support from major companies, policymakers, NGOs and scientists as an important step toward solving the worlds ever increasing water problems. The standard is contained in the Water Footprint Assessment Manual.

Where can I find the standard? The global water footprint standard is contained in the Water Footprint Assessment Manual, which can be downloaded for free. You can get your hardcopy by ordering it in your local bookstore or buying it online through the publisher. Why one global standard? A shared standard on definitions and calculation methods is crucial given the rapidly growing interest in companies and governments to use water footprint accounts as a basis for formulating sustainable water strategies and policies. The water footprint is an effective tool only when used in a rigid manner, not when used as a metaphor. History of the global standard The current standard is an updated, revised and expanded version of the first version of the standard that was published by the Water Footprint Network in November 2009. The current standard, published in February 2011, has been produced after intensive consultations with partners and researchers worldwide. Following the publication of the first version in 2009, all partners of the WFN were invited to provide feedback on the manual. In addition, two working groups were formed, one addressing questions around the grey water footprint and the other one studying issues pertaining to water footprint sustainability assessment. In addition, a number of partners initiated pilot projects in collaboration with the WFN that aimed at exploring the practical implications of using the water footprint in formulating a corporate water strategy or water policy in a specific geographical setting. On the basis of feedbacks received new scientific publications, experiences from practical water footprint pilots and working group reports the WFN prepared a draft of the revised standard. The Scientific Peer Review Committee of the Water Footprint Network reviewed the draft version and made specific recommendations. The current standard is based on the incorporation of those recommendations. Future outlook All over the world research in this area is rapidly developing and more and more pilot studies on water footprint assessment are initiated, across all sectors of economy and covering all continents.

In order to learn from the various ongoing practical water footprint pilot projects and from expected new scientific publications, the WFN invites both partners and non-partners to provide feedback on the standard. In this way we hope to make best use of the diverse experiences that individuals and organizations have when evaluating water footprints within different contexts and for different purposes. We aim to further refine the water footprint methodology so that it best serves the various purposes that different sectors in society see for it, at the same time striving for coherence, consistency and scientific scrutiny. Direct and indirect water use People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business. The relation between consumption and water use "The interest in the water footprint is rooted in the recognition that human impacts on freshwater systems can ultimately be linked to human consumption, and that issues like water shortages and pollution can be better understood and addressed by considering production and supply chains as a whole," says Professor Arjen Y. Hoekstra, creator of the water footprint concept. "Water problems are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. Many countries have significantly externalised their water footprint, importing water-intensive goods from elsewhere. This puts pressure on the water resources in the exporting regions, where too often mechanisms for wise water governance and conservation are lacking. Not only governments, but also consumers, businesses and civil society communities can play a role in achieving a better management of water resources." Some facts and figures The production of one kilogram of beef requires 15 thousand litres of water (93% green, 4% blue, 3% grey water footprint). There is a huge variation around this global average. The precise footprint of a piece of beef depends on factors such as the type of production system and the composition and origin of the feed of the cow. [download report] The water footprint of a 150-gram soy burger produced in the Netherlands is about 160 litres. A beef burger from the same country costs about 1000 litres. [download report] The water footprint of Chinese consumption is about 1070 cubic meter per year per capita. About 10% of the Chinese water footprint falls outside China. [download report] Japan with a footprint of 1380 cubic meter per year per capita, has about 77% of its total water footprint outside the borders of the country. [download report] The water footprint of US citizens is 2840 cubic meter per year per capita. About 20% of this water footprint is external. The largest external water footprint of US consumption lies in the Yangtze

river basin, China. [download report] The global water footprint in the period 1996-2005 was 9087 Gm3/yr (74% green, 11% blue, 15% grey). Agricultural production contributes 92% to this total footprint. [download report] Water scarcity affects over 2.7 billion people for at least one month each year. [download report] va. http://www.waterfootprint.org/