Calculation of Water Footprint and Carbon Footprint to improve Palm Oil Industry Governance

News 25, Apr 2018

BALI – Palm oil cultivation has received negative attention because it is considered unsustainable and causes deforestation. While in the fact there is no problem with its planting.

The presence of palm oil plantations has also raised the living standards of Malaysians and Indonesians and contributes to the state’s revenues. “However, the management must be improved,” said Henry Cai, from PT Musim Mas.

We need continuous improvementin palm oil industry governance. One of the ways is by obtaining sustainable certificates such as ISPO, MSPO, RSPO, and ISCC.

Henry disclosed the water footprint in the palm oil plantation PT B. According to him, the water trail attracts a lot of attention. “Water is a scarce and limited resource due to human actions and the agricultural industry that makes up 80% of the water footprint,” he said.

Water mismanagement in agriculture can cause major problems such as the drying of DanauAral due to poor water management. Due to the concern on the negative effects of palm oil cultivation, PT B calculates the water footprint in their production aspects. There are three types of water that are measured, water is green, blue and gray. Green water footprint measurements were calculated using CROPWAT 8.0 and CLIMWAT 2.0 software from FAO.

Of the six provinces in Indonesia, the average water footprint is 2,321.15 cubic per meter tonne of FFB. This research also shows that the gray water of phosphorus is very large, four times higher than the water required for the assimilation of Nitrogen. Similar trends occur in CPO production. Compared to other studies, water traces obtained by PT B are still below the water footprint range in Malaysia and Thailand. The blue water trail in Thailand is higher and bigger than the gray water trail since many of the palm plantations in Thailand are irrigating.

Water footprint, among others, affected by agricultural practices and rainfall. Unlike Hendry, Joni Jupesta, from PT SMART Tbk focuses more on specific aspects of water trace measurement methods.

According to Joni, there are a few research methods used, namely Penman-Monteith, SURRE, and Direct Evaporation (Pan-A).

In Indonesia, they use the Penman-Monteithmethod because it must have a weather station to measure humidity and temperature. The SURRE methodology is more expensive and the comparison is stronger than weather station data. The PT B study uses daily data because it has weather stations. There are two case studies conducted, Riau and Lampung. (*)