Hoehn, Daniel; Margallo, María; Laso, Jara; Ruiz-Salmón, Israel; Dias, Ana-Cláudia; Bala, Alba; Batlle-Bayer, Laura; Fullana-i-Palmer, Pere; Aldaco, Rubén; Quinteiro, Paula
The availability of freshwater is one of the biggest limitations and challenges on food production, as it is an increasingly scarce and overexploited resource in many parts of the world. Therefore, the concept of water footprint (WF) has gained increasing interest. In this line, the food production sector is being increasingly analyzed by many WF studies globally. Within the food production and consumption systems, the generation of food loss and waste (FLW) has become a central concern in the social and political debate. In Spain, although there are some WF studies related to food products, there is no study assessing the influence of the FLW generation along the whole food supply chain, and the different FLW management options regarding its WF. Nowadays, an important fraction of the FLW generated in Spain is still landfilled, being the rest managed in the 10 existing thermal treatment plants, or in mechanical-biological treatment stations, based on aerobic composting or anaerobic digestion systems. This study aims to assess the spatial differentiated WF profile (water scarcity + water degradation) for 17 Spanish regions overtime by compliance and non-compliance with the Paris Agreement targets, based on the Life Cycle Assessment approach. These results will be linked with the carbon footprint results from a previous work for the same regions, which highlighted lower impacts in scenarios that include anaerobic digestion and aerobic composting. Thereby, it will be evaluated if the previously results will vary considerably or not if a WF assessment is added. All it aiming to complete and reinforce the thesis of a need of developing regionalized FLW management policies in Spain, moving from national to regional approaches when developing future roadmaps.