Water that has been withdrawn, but is not discharged due to :

  • Use in products (e.g., beverages or cleaning products)
  • Absorption by agricultural crops
  • Consumption by humans or animals
  • Evaporation or transpiration
  • Pollution that has rendered water unusable
  • Water held in storage for future use or discharge (also see Stored water)

While water bills usually refer to water consumption, these amounts should be reported as withdrawals.

When consumption can’t be measured, calculate it by deducting water discharge from water withdrawals during the same reporting period. When water bills don’t report discharge, companies can report water consumption in two ways:

  1. If water consumption is deemed insignificant (e.g., in an office, store or warehouse), companies can assume that discharge equals withdrawals and report 0 consumption (the assumption should be explained).
  2. Report that water discharge volume is not provided by the supplier, wherefore consumption can’t be calculated.
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