Water calculator helps water managers find ways to reduce impacts on local water resources

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CHICAGO, IL, Apr. 19, 2012 -- Growing Blue has launched the Water Impact Index (WIIX) Calculator, a new web-based tool designed to measure and reduce the impact of human activity on local water resources. Available online at www.growingblue.com, the new calculator was designed by Growing Blue founding partner Veolia Water.

Most water footprint calculators use volume of water as the indicator to assess impact on the water resource. Water use can range from human consumption to manufacturing processes and agriculture production. Volume-only calculators are insufficient for making operational decisions to reduce the impact on a water resource because they do not consider other equally important variables such as water quality or availability.

The WIIX Calculator expands upon current volume-based water calculators by also taking into account water resource stress factors and water quality. Paired with a traditional cost analysis to identify the ideal return on investment, the WIIX Calculator represents a truer measurement of impact on a local water resource. It also offers insight into reducing that impact and can lead to potential cost savings.

One of the goals of the calculator is to foster greater collaboration and continued dialogue around water and carbon measurement, and the calculator can complement a carbon footprint analysis. Viewing water and carbon together provides a more comprehensive picture of the challenges to sustainability.

"The WIIX Calculator will be helpful to anyone wanting to make a water or wastewater process or system more sustainable and efficient," said Ed Pinero, chief sustainability officer of Veolia Water North America. "This applies to both municipalities and industry. Using the calculator, decision makers can better assess the impact on local water resources and take steps to minimize that impact while potentially saving money."

Developed from Veolia's Water Impact Index, which was released in 2010, the free calculator is designed to be used by those who have an operational understanding of water and wastewater systems and are familiar with water chemistry and the energy-water nexus.

The tool can be found at http://growingblue.com/footprint-tools/water-impact-index.

With the calculator, users can input specific facility and water resource data, including water withdrawal, water released, chemicals used, waste produced and energy consumed. This information is used to generate a report that indicates where the most significant impacts to the water resource occur. When the results are used in conjunction with a traditional cost analysis report, decision makers can determine process changes and upgrades that will have the most positive impact on the water resource and the highest ROI.

About Growing Blue
Growing Blue was created to tell the important story of how water is as essential to economic and social growth as it is to ensuring healthy ecosystems and the environment. Growing Blue serves as a resource for credible, accurate information on water, and aims to increase awareness of global water challenges and the need for thoughtful solutions. In consultation with industry colleagues, scientists, academia and environmental professionals at leading NGOs, Growing Blue is a repository for water-focused data that is used to generate interactive maps that better inform people on the current state of water and the impacts of daily life on dwindling water resources around the world. The web site is managed by representatives from the non-profit, academic and corporate sectors including The Nature Conservancy, Clean Water America Alliance, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, United Nations Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Global Water Intelligence, Cardno ENTRIX and Veolia Water.

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