PW06 Life-Cycle Assessment
Exhibit Hall
8:00 AM - Wednesday

(PW052) Water availability characterisation - a proposal for site specific resource indicators on global scales.

Bauer, C.1, 1 Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany

ABSTRACT- Many potential environmental impacts considered in LCA and material flow analyses vary considerably depending on the affected environment on both local and regional scales. Solutions comprise an extension of the LCI analysis or the alignment of LCIA methodologies to specific environmental conditions. In both cases available data is rarely comparable or representative on global scales. Thus the environmental information system SARIS (Site Specific Natural Resources Information System) has been developed based on a geographic information system (GIS) to quantify distinct environmental properties in the vicinity of any producing site. This system was developed in the framework of a collaborative research programme aiming at the resource orientated analysis of metallic raw material flows. Firstly aluminium and copper were taken as case studies. The spatial database covers nearly all present primary production sites for these metals (mining, refining, smelting). Generic environmental data for each location were derived from global digital survey data covering land cover, soils, morphology, climate, topography and population density. The main application of SARIS is the characterisation of environmental safeguard objects which may be affected by the activity of concern. The property data is used to characterise the distribution pattern of production sites and allows to identify potential damage patterns taking into account site specific estimates for in- and outputs like land use, water consumption or emissions. In order to assess the spatial differences in water availability a site specific indicator is suggested to express the stress on this resource. Water availability is characterised by the runoff as difference between monthly precipitation and actual evapotranspiration rates. The pressure on available resources is expressed by the population density. Based on global data resources the results can be interpreted on any desired aggregation level ranging from sites to technologies to countries or even global average values.

Key words: water availability, LCA, GIS

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