The term Water Use can
have many different meanings. Each company should clarify
how it uses different terms related to water use.
Water withdrawal typically
refers to water that is removed from a source and used
for human need. It is occasionally termed water throughput.
This definition includes water that may be returned
to the source. Withdrawn water may not be actually consumed.
Water consumption commonly
refers to the portion of water withdrawals that are
not returned to the same source or not able to be reused
in the local area. This includes water used as a product
ingredient, water lost to evaporation and seepage, or
water that is otherwise transformed or contaminated.
Gross Water Use is the total
of all water used by a company, including reused or
Some companies, such as DuPont,
have opted to count all water withdrawn from public
water systems as "consumed", even if it is
returned to local surface waters, since the water has
been displaced from one source to another. For more
information on measuring water use, see the "Metrics"
resource in Module 5.
to Module 1