Innovative approaches for reducing water footprint of cotton production chain. Innovative impulses reducing the water footprint of the global cotton-textile industry towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Pakistani and German partners work hand in hand for identifying technically, economically, and institutionally feasible ways of increasing the efficiency and productivity of water use along the entire cotton-textile value chain in Pakistan. Our goal is to further develop the concept of the water footprint as a management tool that will support Pakistani decision-makers in managing scarce water resources and that will assist German consumers in making informed choices when purchasing textiles.

Subproject management:
National Partners:
  • Forschungsinstitut für Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaft an der
    RWTH Aachen e.V., 52056 Aachen (FiW)
  • TU Berlin, Fachgebiet Sustainable Engineering, 10623 Berlin (TUB)
  • Hochschule Niederrhein, Forschungsinstitut für Textil und Bekleidung,
    41065 Mönchengladbach (HN-FTB)
  • IWW Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wasserforschung gGmbH,
    45476 Mülheim an der Ruhr (IWW-MH)
  • Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Fernerkundung,
    97074 Würzburg (UW)
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn,
  • Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung, 53113 Bonn (ZEF)
  • RWTH Aachen, Institut für Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft,
    52056 Aachen (RWTH-IWW)
  • Hochschule Ruhr West, 45407 Mülheim an der Ruhr (HRW)
  • Thies GmbH & Co. KG, 48653 Coesfeld (THIES)
  • A3 Water Solutions GmbH, 48369 Saerbeck (A3)
  • LAR Process Analysers AG, 12057 Berlin (LAR)
  • SEBA Hydrometrie GmbH & Co. KG, 87600 Kaufbeuren (SEBA)
  • Lippeverband, 44137 Dortmund (LV)
  • CHT R. Beitlich GmbH, 72072 Tübingen (CHT)
International Partners:
  • University of Agriculture (UAF), Faisalabad – Pakistan
  • National Textile University (NTU), Faisalabad
  • National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad
  • The Urban Unit (UU) Urban Sector Planning & Management Services Unit (Pvt.) Ltd.
  • Environment Protection Department (EPD), Government of Punjab
  • Punjab Irrigation and Power, Irrigation Department
  • Program Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU)
  • Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA)
  • All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (aptma)
  • Style Textile, Lahore
  • Sapphire Fibres Limited, Lahore
  • Kohinoor Mills Limited, Kasur
  • Cleaner Production Institute (CPI), Lahore
  • GIZ Pakistan (GIZ)
  • Söke Water User Association, Turkey
  • Institute of Marine Sciences and Management, Istanbul University, Turkey
Background and Aims:
  • Advancing the water footprint concept to become a meaningful regional steering instrument for national decision makers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers
  • Assessing strategies towards reaching the UN-Sustainable Development Goals
  • Surveying the current state of water efficiency, water quality, and concurrent usages in Pakistan and Turkey for cotton production chain
  • Supporting decision makers with roadmaps, documentary videos, and internet-based footprint tools
  • Providing the base for a Water-Footprint Textile Label rising consumers´ awareness for sustainable consumption
Methodical implactions:

Working through an interdisciplinary approach by using a combination of satellite remote sensing, field-site studies, hydrologic and hydraulic modelling, company surveys, and water quality monitoring. Moreover, demonstrating efficient technologies along the cotton-textile value chain, including efficient cotton irrigation, dyes and process chemicals, textile machinery, suitable wastewater treatment processes, and analytical instruments for water pollution monitoring and reduction.

Expected Results:
  • Evaluation of business as usual practices for cotton production and processing
  • Development of optimized techniques to cut water usage for cotton production
  • Digital tool for show casing the water foot-print for decision makers and consumers
Finogenova, N., Berger, M., Schelter, L., Becker, R., Aus der Beek, T., Usman, M., Weber, F.-A. and Finkbeiner, M. (2019) Towards a Region-Specific Impact Assessment of Water Degradation In Water Footprinting. Indonesian Journal of Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainability.
Becker, R., Koppa, A., Schulz, S., Usman, M., aus der Beek, T. and Schüth, C. (2019) Spatially Distributed Model Calibration of a Highly Managed Hydrological System Using Remote Sensing-Derived ET Data. Journal of Hydrology, 577, 123944.
Arshad, M., Ahmad, R. and Usman, M. (2018) Canal Operation through Management Information System. Developing Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, Boca-Raton.
Usman, M., Liedl, R., Zhang, F. and Zaman, M. (2018) Groundwater Irrigated Agriculture Evolution in Central Punjab, Pakistan. In: Lichtfouse, E., Ed., Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 33: Climate Impact on Agriculture, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 259–294.
Usman, M., Conrad, C., Weber, F., Berger, M., Mahltig, B., aus der Beek, T., Borgemeister, C., Schüttrumpf, H., Oelmann, M., Thies, A., Brüß, U., Genthe, W., Theuring, P., Grün, B.M., Lohrey, L., Bakhsh, A., Ibrahim, W., Nazir, A., Jamshaid, H., Jamal Khan, S., Javed, N., Ullah, S., Anjum, S., Bodla, H.U., Goheer, A., Ul Haq, A., Saeed, A., Uddin Khan, A., Ullah, S., Kochius, R., Majeed, M.A., Alam, N., Saifullah, M.K. and Hablik, A. (2017, 2020) InoCottonGrow - Innovation Zur Reduzierung Des Wasser-Fußabdrucks Der Globalen Baumwoll-Textilindustrie.


Pakistan and Turkey