Freshwater is a renewable resource, but its availability is limited in time and space. It is also a global resource, since water is used to produce goods that are traded internationally.
Schyns' research and teaching activities focus on the management of freshwater resources with a multidisciplinary perspective. This involves assessing the water footprint of human consumption and production patterns to inform coherent policies on water, agriculture, energy and trade.
As coordinator of the water footprint statistics and publication databases for the Water Footprint Network, Schyns is involved with knowledge dissemination to the general public and the network partners, which include businesses, NGOs, governments, and academia.