Water Footprint

This component includes the energy required to collect, treat and supply South West residents with water. Domestic water provided from local (private) sources, with minimal infrastructure or processing, such as from a stream, was not included as its ecological footprint is negligible.

The ecological footprint of water consumed by South West residents was 47,800 gha (0.01 gha per person), and accounted for less than 1% of the total ecological footprint of the region. Table 9 shows water supplied and waste water treatment ecological footprints. Leakage accounted for 20% (10,688 litres per person) of domestic water supplied and has an ecological footprint of 5,239 gha (<0.01 gha per person).

Although water is vital to the sustainability of life, the water ecological footprint is low because it does not require many resources to process.

Table 9
Water ecological footprint of a South West resident, in 2001
  Consumption (litres per person) Per person ecological footprint (gha) % of total water ecological footprint
Total domestic water 53,203 0.01 100%
of which…  
Water supplied* 53,203 0.005 55%
of which…  
Wastewater treated 53,203 0.004 45%
* Includes leakage of 10,688 litres per person. Leakage occurs en route to homes, for example through piping.
Sources: Barton, 2004; Berry, 2004; Bristol Water, 2002; DWI, 2002; Green, 2004; Jones, 2004; Marsh, 2004; OFWAT, 2001;
Pennon Group, 2002; South West Water, 2004; Turner, 2004; Water UK, 2003; Wessex Water, 2004, 2004a & 2004b and Wickens, 2004