11 Nov 2011

Low water footprint for country's electricity

5:45 pm on 11 November 2011

Scientists have found New Zealand electricity has a very low water footprint, a finding they say could boost the horticultural industry.

Dr Brent Clothier of research institute Plant and Food says because electricity-generating hydro dams are located in areas of high rainfall, the input of water generally equals the output.

He says that translates to water saved in the production of New Zealand products such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Dr Clothier says following the carbon footprinting drive, supermarket giants have developed their own labels for water footprinting as well, designed to show how much water is used to produce the goods they sell.

He says the research, done in conjunction with Massey University PhD student Indika Herath is the most in-depth to date.

Dr Clothier says the findings could lead to a premium price for New Zealand fruit and vegetables overseas.