Water inputs and outputs
When paper mills use water, they do not consume this water during the production process. After (re)use it is returned to the rivers, lakes or seas as cooling water and purified effluent water. A limited amount of water is evaporated (about 1-1.5 m3/tonne nsp) in the drying section of the paper production.
The water debate focuses on the impact of water consumption. This is best reflected in the local water availability rather than in the amount of water taken into the mills. Therefore, the appropriate indicator is the net difference of water taken in and water returned to the rivers or lakes (water consumed, not taken in).