Water Scarcity

Water is of key importance for humans: as drinking water, as water facilitating crop growth, as aquatic environment for organisms, and for recreational purposes. Nearly half the global population are already living in potential water-scarce areas at least one month per year and this could increase to 4.8–5.7 billion in 2050 (UNESCO, 2018)1.

BASF encourages research into new technologies to help reduce water consumption in agriculture as well as increasing yields. 

For example:

  • developing drought-tolerant crop varieties improves yields in areas with limited or varying supply of water
  • developing innovative crop protection products will increase the yield and the water-use efficiency of crops (i.e. reducing the amount of water needed per crop unit produced).

BASF believes that efficient and sustainable agriculture plays a critical role in meeting the challenge of future global water supply. By using innovative agricultural solutions and participating in stewardship programs, farmers can improve plant health, yields, and food quality while also becoming more successful in sustainable water management and protection.

Water Scarcity in AgBalance

The AgBalance® Model uses the Water Use in Life Cycle Assessment (WULCA), a consensus of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative working group for a method of water scarcity footprint assessments (WULCA, 2018)2 The outcome of this consensus is the available water remaining (AWARE) method, which assesses the available water remaining per unit of surface in a given watershed relative to the world average, after human and aquatic ecosystem demands have been met, in m3 world eq.

On a farm (excl. feedstock) water is mainly used for irrigation and dilution of plant protection products.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Technical documentation

1 http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/water/wwap/

2 WULCA. (2018). WATER FOOTPRINTING IN LCA. Retrieved from WULCA Website (Water Use in Life Cycle Assessment): http://www.wulca-waterlca.org/footprinting.html