UNESCO-IHE announced on 21 October the foundation of this new organisation. The founding partners are: University of Twente, WWF-the global conservation organization, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, the Water Neutral Foundation, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group) and the Netherlands Water Partnership. The basis for the water footprint concept and methodology has been laid by Prof. Arjen Hoekstra at UNESCO-IHE and further developed at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. The mission of the Water Footprint Network is to promote the transition towards sustainable, fair and efficient use of fresh water resources worldwide by:

  •  advancing the concept of the ‘water footprint’, a spatially and temporally explicit indicator of direct and indirect water use of consumers and producers;
  •  increasing the water footprint awareness of communities, government bodies and businesses and their understanding of how consumption of goods and services and production chains relate to water use and impacts on fresh-water systems; and
  •  encouraging forms of water governance that reduce the negative ecological and social impacts of the water footprints of communities, countries and businesses.