WWF's study: Water footprint of Italy | WWF

WWF's study: Water footprint of Italy

Posted on 10 June 2014
Water bubbles
© Chris Martin Bahr / WWF

To what extent do our food consumption choices impact the environment, and water systems in particular? How much of this water originates from abroad and what are the main sources? To what extent can we improve our food consumption patterns through more-informed choices so that the burden on the  environment is lessened? How can we promote water accountability in supply chains? Is it possible to inform citizens about the impacts on ecosystems and water resources of the products they consume in Italy? Is it possible to improve our internal water footprint, by improving the quality of the water used for food production?

These challenges and possible solutions are discussed in the report. Future trends will be explored with particular attention to water saving, irrigation efficiency and rainfed agriculture in the Italian
context. Identifying a pattern towards water accountability and ways for improving our water footprints, calling for a joint effort of government, citizens, the private sector, and financial institutions,
is the ultimate aim of this report.

In January 2012, the WWF Italy has launched the One Planet Food Program dedicated to promoting dietary
patterns with low environmental impact and to improve the relation of food to the sustainability of natural systems and biodiversity on Earth. In order to achieve our ambitious targets for change, an holistic approach is needed: we need in fact to address both demand side (food consumption) and supply side (food production) issues within the food supply chain.

It is a complex challenge that requires an integrated approach and efforts from the scientific community, civil society, producer, government, business and other organisations. The One Planet Food Program strategy is ambitious in approach and is based on a stakeholder engagement process which will allow WWF, and a critical mass of other key stakeholders, to work together and drive forward a number of agreed
objectives: consumption of resources - primarily water -, pollution and the emission of greenhouse gas arising from the production of food are at sustainable levels and the adverse impact of food production in key areas of biodiversity impacted are restored.

In recent years, the problem of water consumption and its management has become increasingly central issues in the debate on global sustainability, especially vis-à-vis the intensifying water scarcity at the global level. Adequate quality of water resources is not only a prerequisite for the human society welfare, but it is also fundamental for the natural ecosystems that provide essential benefits to human societies and life on earth as a whole.

For further information:

Eva Alessi
Head of One Planet Food Programme
WWF Italy
Via Po 25/c, 00198 Roma (Italy)
+39 06 84497252

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