LCA of Drinking Water Supply

Berit Godskesen, Noa Meron, Martin Rygaard

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterEducationpeer-review


    Water supplies around the globe are growing complex and include more intense treatment methods than just decades ago. Now, desalination of seawater and wastewater reuse for both non-potable and potable water supply have become common practice in many places. LCA has been used to assess the potentials and reveal hotspots among the possible technologies and scenarios for water supplies of the future. LCA studies have been used to support decisions in the planning of urban water systems and some important findings include documentation of reduced environmental impact from desalination of brackish water over sea water, the significant impacts from changed drinking water quality and reduced environmental burden from wastewater reuse instead of desalination. Some of the main challenges in conducting LCAs of water supply systems are their complexity and diversity, requiring very large data collection efforts, with multiple sources of information, many of them not public and requiring cooperation. Important for product and system LCAs with substantial water use, it is emphasized that standard life cycle inventory databases do not reflect the significant variance in environmental impacts of water supply across locations and technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLife Cycle Assessment: Theory and Practice
    Publication date2018
    ISBN (Print)9783319564746
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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