The WELLE OWF tool was developed to help people use the WELLE method and database for determining an organizational water footprint (OWF). It lets users determine the OWF online using a web browser.
As part of the WELLE research project, a method for the analysis of an organizational water footprint (OWF) was developed. It determines the water consumption of an organization and the resulting local impact along value chains. Contrary to common practice, the OWF not only takes into account the direct water consumption at an organization’s location, but also the indirect water consumption due to, for example, energy generation and raw material production (upstream), the use and end-of-life phases (downstream).
The starting point for the development of the OWF was an analysis of existing approaches to water consumption for products and organizations. Following this analysis, the OWF method was developed based on two existing standards: the water footprint and the Organizational Life Cycle Assessment.
While most organizations have a good understanding of their direct water consumption, measuring indirect water consumption along upstream steps of the value chain is often difficult. To counteract this problem, Thinkstep developed the WELLE database with over 160 data records. The project is based on the GaBi database.
The WELLE OWF tool was developed to make the method and database easier to use. This enables the OWF to be determined online in the web browser based on the direct water consumption at locations, the raw materials, intermediate products and energy consumption, as well as business trips, the use of company buildings and other activities.