During the Stockholm World Water Week, WWF International released several interesting new reports on water issues. They include studies on the concept of "water footprint" as well as on advanced river basin management and inter-basin transfers.
The notion of "water footprint" is the subject of two studies. The first one deals with calculating the precise water footprint of Germany and what to conclude from this calculation. The second study relates to the water footprint of the giant brewer SAB Miller and results from a collaboration between the firm and WWF.
Another important report, released by WWF jointly with a number of institutions and conservationist NGOs, deals with the advanced river flow management at basin scale. This study stresses the importance of flow variability and seasonality for the various ecosystem functions of river basins and therefore for the livelihood and well-being of local populations. It concludes that river flow management should not be restricted to a purely quantitative and invariable perspective, but requires a much finer and flexible form of governance.
Finally, WWF released an updated version of its 2007 report on inter-basin water transfers in the world. This study concludes that a genuine cost-benefit analysis is required before venturing into such projects, since none of the existing experiences has proved very conclusive from this point of view.
WWF and the Alliance for Water Stewardship (a global alliance of conservationist NGOs and research centres) also launched an initiative called the (Global Water Roundtable), which is meant to associate also institutional partners. Its aim is to establish common global standards of good water management and stewardship. WWF has already launched several other similar standard-setting initiatives in the past, on various environmental issues.