Sustainable Engineering

UNEP - SETAC Life Cycle Initiative, Working Group on Water

The environmental impact of water use is of great importance in view of the increasing scarcity of water in many parts of the world. Despite this relevance, water consumption is often not recorded in life cycle assessments or is only discussed at the life cycle inventory level, as there is a lack of suitable methods for evaluating water abstraction from lakes, rivers or aquifers.

A working group of the UNEP - SETAC Life Cycle Initiative deals precisely with this deficit and is working on the development of characterization factors to assess water abstractions from different sources. Taking into account regionally different water scarcity and various functionalities that are fulfilled by water, both midpoint and endpoint impact categories are to be developed in the project with which the consequences of water consumption can be assessed.

In co-operation with: UNEP - SETAC

Duration July 2008 - end of 2010

Contact person:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Finkbeiner
Room Z 103
Phone +49 (0)30 314-24341
E-mail matthias.finkbeiner(at)