Tony Maas, WWF-Canada - Water & Risk


Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • I am going to provide a quick glimpse into some work on virtual water trade and water footprinting in the context of North America that will be part of an upcoming report on the role of water in the continent’s economy.
  • This is how we tend to think about the fresh water we share in North America – these are the watersheds that cut across the Canada - US border, and the US – Mexico border 300 waterways form or cross the 8800 kilometer border between Canada and the US – 40% of the border is covered by water. The arid border between the US and Mexico is formed by a river known as the Rio Grande in the US and the Rio Bravo in Mexico – the Tijuana and Colorado rivers also cross the border. Also significant sharing of water between Canada/US and US/Mexico in underground aquifers.
  • But if we look at all the goods we use and consume – and most importantly – trade, we find that there is a lot more sharing of water than we see on the surface.
  • blue water – water drawn from ground or surface water sources green water – water stored as soil moisture grey water – volume of fresh water required to dilute wastewater discharges to meet water quality standards).
  • The work draws on the refinements in methodology and broadening application of water footprinting and virtual water analysis happening around the world. In 2011, WFN released the Water Footprint Assessment Manual: Setting the Global Standard . A major step in the standardization of water footprint methodology. WFN released a global water footprint assessment in May, 2011. The same methodology was used in the NA report. Essentially the water footprint (of consumption) for agricultural products used a bottom up approached using FAO data on the consumption of agricultural commodities by country. Industrial water footprint was calculated using a top down approach combining trade data from ITC (Intl Trade Centre) and industrial water use data from AQUASTAT. Domestic water footprint also based on data from AQUASTAT. VW trade flows were calculated using ITC trade data. Difference between global study and NA study: NA study provides a more focused view of the water footprints of Canada, the US and Mexico and gives a much more detailed account of VW flows between Canada, the US, and Mexico, and between NA and the world.
  • Global average footprint per capita is 3800 L / day By comparison – Average resident of Ethiopia = XXXX L / day 1 m3 = 1000 litres
  • Map of VW flows within NA. NOTE: these numbers are for agricultural commodities only (excludes industrial).
  • This map shows the national VW balances and net VW flows related to trade in wheat products between 1996-2005. We can see at a high level that markets in the US and Japan are a major drivers of Canadian wheat production. However, this map doesn’t tell us anything about the impacts of that production in Canada and whether these virtual water exports are sustainable (ecologically, economically, socially). The availability of water is highly variable in time and space. Thus, to understand impacts, we have to scale down the focus to a more local level.
  • Globally, Canada is an important producer and exporter of agricultural products, most of which comes out of the country’s driest region – the prairies   Alberta and Saskatchewan are home to 2/3 of cattle, ¾ of wheat, barley, and canola – a lot of this is exported to the US, Mexico and outside NA   The SSRB, located in the heart of the prairies, supports the region’s agricultural economy – it supports 70% of Canada’s irrigated agriculture – it also supports growing cities and industries in the region – the highest withdrawal to availability ratio in Canada occurs in this part of the country   The South Saskatchewan River feeling the impact of these multiple pressures – the river’s ecosystem is threatened by heavy withdrawals – it’s also impacting economic and development opportunities – moratorium on new permits on the Alberta side of the SSRB   The challenge ahead is compounded by the impacts of climate change – between 1971 and 2004, the prairies experienced a decline in water yield – during this period, it also displayed the highest variability in water yield in the country   Prairie drought of 2001-2002 contributed to losses in national GDP worth close to $6 billion – financial losses from the 2010 prairie flood led to losses totaling $1.5 billion – major flooding again this year…   At global temperature rises of about 2°C to 3°C, flows in the SSRB could see significant declines – area of land in the prairies at risk of desertification increasing 50% by mid-century, and drought frequency doubling at global average temperatures 3 to 4°C above pre-industrial levels
  • Businesses, governments, and civil society often share water risks even if they conceptualize them differently.
  • Map of VW flows within NA. NOTE: these numbers are for agricultural commodities only (excludes industrial).
  • Canada’s total water footprint is 72,075 Mm 3 per year. The consumption of agricultural commodities makes up the bulk of Canada’s water footprint, accounting for 81% of the total (most of this is green water). Industrial commodities account for 13% of the country’s total water footprint. The remaining 6% of Canada’s water footprint goes into household water uses.
  • With an internal water footprint accounting for 79% of the total, Canada’s total water footprint can be considered highly self sufficient. The remaining 21% of Canada’s water footprint – the external water footprint – is dependent on water resources outside its borders, over half of which is tied to the US. While blue water – water from ground or surface water sources – accounts for only 7% of Canada’s total water footprint, this portion of the water footprint is particularly important. Results from the study show that just under half of Canada’s blue water footprint is external – meaning that, despite top level numbers describing Canada’s external water footprint as being low relative to its total water footprint, its external dependency on blue water is in fact quite high.
  • Canada’s total water footprint is 72,075 Mm 3 per year. The consumption of agricultural commodities makes up the bulk of Canada’s water footprint, accounting for 81% of the total (most of this is green water). Industrial commodities account for 13% of the country’s total water footprint. The remaining 6% of Canada’s water footprint goes into household water uses.
  • Tony Maas, WWF-Canada - Water & Risk

    1. 1. Tony Maas Freshwater Director, WWF Canada [email_address] Water Footprints Across North America Canadian Water Summit
    2. 2. Shared physical water Source:
    3. 3. Key water-related challenges: Introduction
    4. 4. Key concepts <ul><li>Virtual water – Total volume of water used to produce a commodity at all points along the production chain </li></ul><ul><li>Water footprint – Volume of water used to produce the goods and services consumed by inhabitants of a country. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes two components: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internal water footprint – virtual water of content of all goods and services produced and consumed within a country . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External water footprint – virtual water content of all imported goods and services consumed within a country . </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. International water footprint work
    6. 6. Water footprint of the average… 6400 L / day 7800 L / day 5400 L / day
    7. 7. Water footprint within and beyond borders Internal sufficiency External dependency External footprint Canada 79.3% 21.7% United States China India United States 79.8% 20.2% Canada China Mexico Mexico 57.5% 42.5% United States Canada China
    8. 8. (Virtual) drops across North America 15,000 27,500 5,000 71,000 18,000 500
    9. 9. Global drivers to local impacts
    10. 10. South Saskatchewan River
    11. 11. Shared water risks Shared Risk <ul><li>Corporate </li></ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>Economic value </li></ul><ul><li>Government </li></ul><ul><li>Phy/bio-physical </li></ul><ul><li>Social / economic </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional </li></ul><ul><li>Political </li></ul><ul><li>WWF </li></ul><ul><li>Bio-physical </li></ul><ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Governance </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem health </li></ul>
    12. 12. Policy considerations <ul><li>Water allocation and management policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reform water policy to ensure both needs for economic development and water to sustain ecosystem health are satisfied. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trade agreements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How have / do existing trade agreements (e.g. NAFTA) influenced virtual water trade and the related watershed impacts? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How future trade agreements be designed to include virtual water considerations? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subsidies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How are government subsidies – for agriculture and for other sectors – influencing virtual water trade and can / should they be reformed to reduce impacts on ecosystem health? </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Water stewardship and the private sector Time Water awareness Knowledge of Impact Stakeholder engagement Influence governance Level of watershed sustainability Internal action <ul><li>Engagement in public policy </li></ul><ul><li>Shared implementation of strategies to improve water management at the basin scale </li></ul><ul><li>Companies, governments and NGO’s engaging in multi-stakeholder platforms to asses issues and develop response strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Companies take action to optimize internal water use while measuring and publicly reporting water quantity and quality </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed understanding of the impact companies and their suppliers have on water resources and river basins </li></ul><ul><li>High level understanding of global water challenges, dependence on fresh water and exposure to water related risks </li></ul>
    14. 15.
    15. 16. 15,175 Oil crops Cereals Bovine 27,556 Bovine Oil crops Cereals 5,298 Oil crops Cereals Bovine 71,063 Oil crops Cereals Bovine 18,167 Oil crops Stimulants Bovine 513 Stimulants Oil crops Fruits
    16. 17. Breaking down Canada’s water footprint
    17. 18.
    18. 19. Canada’s external water footprint
    19. 20. Breaking down Canada’s water footprint