maintaining blue water footprints within maximum sustainable levels per catchment

meliss

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Hi, I know, it's a bit specific hydrologically, but I'd like to understand what does it mean. Help me, please. "Blue water" generally means open sea. So, how could we maintain blue water footprints? And catchment - it's like river basin? Thank you.
"Meeting humanity’s increasing demand for freshwater and protecting ecosystems at the same time, thus maintaining blue water footprints within maximum sustainable levels per catchment, will be one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century". http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/2/e1500323.full
 

sammol

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The sentence is very convoluted, but it basically means:

"It will be difficult for mankind to meet its fresh water requirements in the future if we continue to damage the ocean's ecosystem at a higher rate than it can sustain."

In this context, 'blue water' is the ocean.
'Footprint' is the environmental damage made on the ocean.
And 'catchment' means the given area where damage is being assessed.

The maintainence that you asked about only refers to 'maintaining' a managable level of environmental damage (the footprint), which according to this article, we have surpassed.

Hope this helps to clarify.
 
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tzfujimino

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I've found some information about "a blue water footprint" here and the definition of the word "catchment" here.
I hope my response will shed some light on your query.
:)
 

GoesStation

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I've found some information about "a blue water footprint" here and the definition of the word "catchment" here.
Interesting, thanks. According to the linked site, "blue water" is not seawater:
Blue water footprint is water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources and is either evaporated, incorporated into a product or taken from one body of water and returned to another, or returned at a different time. Irrigated agriculture, industry and domestic water use can each have a blue water footprint.
 

GoesStation

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Hi, I know, it's a bit specific hydrologically, but I'd like to understand what does it mean. Help me, please. "Blue water" generally means open sea. So, how could we maintain blue water footprints? And catchment - it's like river basin? Thank you.
"Meeting humanity’s increasing demand for freshwater and protecting ecosystems at the same time, thus maintaining blue water footprints within maximum sustainable levels per catchment, will be one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century". http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/2/e1500323.full
A catchment area is an area that collects water. It isn't necessarily a river basin.

I understand the text to mean that it will be extremely difficult to simultaneously supply adequate freshwater to people and to protect ecosystems. The latter requires that blue water footprints don't exceed levels that can be kept up indefinitely.
 

meliss

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Thank you. I do not understand the difference between "water footprint" and "virtual water content". OK, it's too difficult. I'm eco–conscious anyway :-D
 

GoesStation

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Where did you see the phrase "virtual water content"?
 
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