Keywords: water footprint, physical indicators, sustainability, environmental management systems, sustainable development, water resources management, Italy, olive oil
The water footprint as an indicator for managing water resources: the case of Italian olive oil
Researchers, politicians and decision-makers continue to search for a recipe for sustainable economic growth. International interest is growing in the use of material indicators for evaluating the impact of human activities on natural systems. Water footprinting is becoming a popular way of understanding the total water input used to produce goods and services to help managers and policy makers evaluate the sustainability of a country's water resources. The goal of this study is to apply the water footprint (WF) indicator to Italy's olive oil production. Based on the applied methodology, the total WF for annual Italian olive oil production is approximately 3,600?6,700 million m³. These figures are the sum of the internal and external WFs. Knowledge is a valuable contribution to understand future needs and freshwater availability. Furthermore, suggestions on its practical application are proposed.