Measuring indirect water consumption along upstream stages of the value chain can prove difficult. To counteract this problem, Thinkstep developed the WELLE database with over 160 data records. The project is based on the GaBi database.
While most organizations can monitor their internal activities with relative ease, they rely on external data to analyse the water consumption of their indirect, upstream activities (e.g. material and energy supply chains). The WELLE water inventory database was developed for this reason.
The database not only contains inventory data on the direct water consumption of an organization (e.g. business trips or the operation of a canteen), but also includes geographically differentiated inventory data on the water consumption of the indirect activities, such as raw material extraction or energy generation. The database is freely accessible as an MS Excel file and can be downloaded from the WELLE research project website.
The WELLE OWF tool (OWF = organizational water footprint) was developed to make the method and database easy to use. It enables the OWF to be determined online in a web browser using the WELLE database. The OWF is analysed 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.