NC State
BioResources
Shen, J., and Qian, X. (2012). "Addressing the water footprint concept: A demonstrable strategy for papermaking industry," BioRes. 7(3), 2707-2710.

Abstract

Since the introduction of the water footprint concept in 2002, in the context of humankind’s ever-increasing awareness of the valuable global freshwater resources, it has received more and more attention. The application of this relatively new concept has been expected to provide ecological and environmental benefits. For the water-intensive papermaking industry, it seems that water footprint needs to be addressed. The water footprint of cellulosic paper can be divided into three components, including its green water footprint, blue water footprint, and grey water footprint, which may be accounted for by considering the individual contributions of wood or non-wood materials, pulp production processes, effluent discharge to the receiving water bodies, process chemicals and additives, energy consumption, etc. In the literature, the accounting of water footprint during the whole production chain of cellulosic paper is already available, and relevant research findings can provide useful insights into the application of the concept; however, further development of the accounting methodologies is much needed, so that the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of water footprint can be internationally recognized, certified, and standardized. Although there are ongoing or upcoming debates and challenges associated with the concept, its application to papermaking industry may be expected to provide various encouraging possibilities and impacts.
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