The North American forest products industry is a large user of freshwater but consumes comparatively little of the water it uses. Further, the reliance of the industry on forest-derived raw materials and the use of surface water as a receiver for treated effluents represent extensions of its footprint with regard to water resources.
An overarching theme of nearly all NCASI activity is to provide information that can be used to inform and improve environmental stewardship practices. The more recent advent of stewardship/
sustainability initiatives for water (like those initiated for forests decades ago) has made some additional opportunities for highlighting industry practices apparent. NCASI work in these areas has included development of tools for estimating mill-level water consumption and evaluating the applicability of numerous water stewardship metrics used to define water footprints for industrial facilities.
NCASI has prepared forest products industry water profiles for three geographic regions: the United States, Canada, and European Countries represented by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI).
The NCASI Water Consumption Tool is an Excel-based Visual Basic program that simplifies the process of calculating consumptive water losses by using readily available, mill-specific, process operation inputs to yield water consumption outputs.