Where we work
Regional engagement processes are a key component of AWS as they offer a mechanism for stakeholders around the world to provide input and help develop the International Water Stewardship Standard, and advance water stewardship at the regional level.
In Latin America and the Caribbean and North America we have dedicated regional initiatives. Australian and European stakeholders are represented through our Board Organizations, Water Stewardship Australia and the European Water Partnership, while in other regions we rely on our networks of partners, including Board Organizations, to promote AWS and water stewardship. Please use the links on the left to see how and with whom AWS is working in your region.
AWS grew out of the work being undertaken in Australia and Europe to develop regional water stewardship standards. Read our position on the development of regional standards.
If you would like more information or would like to be involved in our regional work, please email Sarah Davidson.
News from Africa
Applications of the Beta AWS Standard in South Africa
Mintails Gold mining
The Beta AWS Standard is now being applied in the South African mining sector via the Water Stewardship Council Trust of South Africa. This is the first time that the Beta Standard is being applied in the mining industry worldwide.
The Mintails gold mining operations are in Witwatersrand, an area highly impacted by more than a century of mining. The area is home to thousands of mine tailings dumps and ponds contaminated with hazardous metals like uranium, and acidic water from abandoned mines has begun decanting into local water systems. These contaminants are now threatening the health of local communities and local and regional water systems.
Mintails has created an innovative way of processing acid mine water to extract the gold for profit, make the water usable for other industrial uses, and reduce the water levels in mine voids so that they are not contaminating South Africa’s rivers and groundwater. Mark Brune, Executive Chairman of Mintails believes that the AWS Standard “provides a structured method of organising our approach to assessing water risks and then capturing these in a meaningful manner for internal and external reference. It also provides an external validation of the issues that should be considered. We could for the first time externally benchmark what we were doing”. More broadly, it will help the mining industry, currently, understand their own performance against global norms and standards and generate positive impacts for local communities and ecosystems”.
Marks & Spencer and Woolworth - stone fruit suppliers
Using the WWF Water Risk Filter, UK retailer Marks & Spencer identified a major risk ‘hot-spot’ with suppliers in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. In particular, stone fruit (nectarines, peaches, plums and cherries) was identified as high risk due its high water consumption per unit weight of fruit produced. Suppliers are spread across four main Water Management Areas: the Berg, Breede, Gouritz and Olifants/Doorn. Together with South African retailer Woolworth , WWF and The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) we are working with farmers in these catchments to apply the Beta AWS Standard. This project demonstrates some of the ways the AWS Standard can reinforce other water stewardship efforts; as well as linking to the Water Risk Filter, the project will develop water stewardship guidelines for fruit farmers in the Western Cape and links to retailers’ own initiatives.
A workshop was held on 14th November on Op de Berg with most participating farmers present, alongside representatives from all other project partners. There is strong support for the project amongst farmers and other partners. In the context of major uncertainties faced by water users in the region the Standard is seen as an effective way of engaging in consensus-oriented dialogue, supported by robust evidence gathered through the Standard application.
Water Governance Conference
In November, the Water Research Commission and the Department of Water Affairs – South Africa, organized the International Conference on Fresh Water Governance for Sustainable Development. The event had a diverse programme allowing for scientific exchange, panel discussions, open debates, and participation from youth and young water professionals.
Together with the Water Stewardship Council of Southern Africa (WSCTSA), AWS convened a special session on “Water Stewardship - Building Innovative, Cross-Sectoral Partnerships for Sustainable Watershed Governance”. The session showcased case studies and explored ideas on how water stewardship can help to drive improvements in both organizational performance and catchment governance.
The session began with presentations on the role of water stewardship standards:
- Adrian Sym, AWS Executive Director, presented on developments in the AWS Standard and governance of AWS International (click here for Adrian's presentation);
- Dr Jamie Pittock, co-Chair of Water Stewardship Australia, presented the recent case study on testing the Australian water stewardship standard in the Goulburn-Broken catchment, highlighting the role that water stewardship can play in driving better management practices and collaboration amongst stakeholders (click here to access Jamie's presentation).
With this context, the other speakers presented papers on different aspects of water stewardship in South Africa:
- Dr Mark Dent, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, presented his paper on the complimentary role of stewardship in the water related governance realm in South Africa (click here to access Mark's presentation);
- Prof. Anthony Turton (WSCTSA) spoke on the evolution of water stewardship in the South African mining sector, with case studies from Limpopo and Guateng (click here to access Tony's presentation), and;
- Helen Gordon, WWF-South Africa, presented an example from WWF-South Africa’s Water Balance Programme: enabling private sector water stewardship and investments into functioning catchment (click here to access Helen's presentation).
The focus of the subsequent panel discussion was “drivers, barriers and limits to using a voluntary water stewardship standard to promote equitable watershed governance in southern Africa”. This provided valuable feedback on how to align different efforts in a coherent approach to water stewardship in South Africa and internationally.
For AWS, both the session and the conference as a whole were very useful in engaging South African stakeholders around the forthcoming beta version of the AWS Standard and the multi-stakeholder governance model for AWS International.
The South Africa Water, Energy and Food Forum gave us the opportunity to introduce our work, most notably the draft Standard, to key stakeholders in a priority region. It also gave the chance to strengthen links with Water Stewardship Trust of South Africa, with whom AWS Executive Director Adrian Sym co-presented (with Tony Turton) at a special session on water stewardship. The audience included stakeholders from the mining sector, academia, water specialists, climate scientists, NGOs other interested parties. This is the second edition of SAWEF following last year’s successful inaugural event. The discussions at SAWEF also link closely to those held at the Bonn Nexus Conference last year at which AWS co-presented a paper with CEO Water Mandate and WCBSD. The nexus approach – incorporating water, energy and food aspects into an integrated approach – is gaining traction and will be a hot topic at the Rio+20 summit in June.
While in South Africa Adrian also met with other key stakeholders including the Water Research Commission, Industry partners and influential academics.
AWS launches report 'Exploring the Value of Water Stewardship Standards in Africa' at 2011 World Water Week.
AWS released its report Exploring the Value of Water Stewardship Standards in Africa during the 2011 World Water Week in Stockholm. The report describes results and learning gained from testing of both European and Australian draft water stewardship standards around Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Lake Naivasha was chosen for its environmental, social and economic significance. The lake is an important wetland ecosystem and home to more than 400 bird species, and also provides irrigation for agriculture which generates over 10% of Kenya's export revenue, contributes 2.1% of the national GDP and provides employment for 75,000 people. The pilot sites were farms operated by suppliers of leading UK retailer Marks&Spencer who, alongside the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, partnered with AWS in this project.
This is the first exploration of how a water stewardship standard could work in a developing country. As well as some insightful recommendations, the report illustrates how, working closely with public and private sectors, a water stewardship standard can provide a practical tool to prevent negative water impacts arising through global trade. The technical and summary reports are available to download here on the left.
More information about our work in Africa
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Our engagement with stakeholders in Asia Pacific is led by Water Stewardship Australia. We are also working with various other Asia Pacific-based stakeholders to establish appropriate means of engagement in other parts of the region.
News from Asia Pacific
Report on field trial of Australian Water Stewardship Standard
Water Stewardship Australia (WSA) has completed its report on the recent full field trial of the Australian Water Stewardship Standard (Draft 2). The trial involved working with Dairy Australia, Tatura Milk Industries and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (GBCMA). The trial was supported by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). The report makes a number of recommendations for ongoing development of water stewardship standards. It also observes a number of areas where existing practices in the region are good and where changes could improve current practice. Importantly, the trial has focused on how to deal with complexity of compliance requirements for small producers and how the Australian Standard can work with existing systems. The GBCMA found the water stewardship system could have considerable natural resource management benefits for the region. For Dairy Australia, the trial provided an opportunity to assess the performance of existing tools such as its Dairy Self-Assessment Tool and inform the development of targets and action plans in the industry’s sustainability framework. A summary report is available using the link on the right side of this page. The full report will be available shortly from the WSA website.
AWS participated in a water disclosure seminar in Jakarta, Indonesia, where the draft AWS Standard was introduced in some detail and encouraged participants to provide feedback via the AWS website and organize field tests of the second draft Standard. The event was organized by the CEW Water Mandate working group of the Indonesian Global Compact Network (ICGN). ICGN is hosting a special session on water conservation work at the Corporate sustainability Forum being organized by the Global Compact ahead of Rio+20.
Australian stakeholder workshop
Water Stewardship Australia, is holding a stakeholder workshop in Melbourne on the 1st and 2nd of February. This event is an important opportunity for Australian stakeholders to influence the future development of the global water stewardship standard and system. The workshop will consider changes to the Australian water stewardship standard.
Experience gained in Australia will in turn influence development of the global water stewardship standard and system. Members of the International Standard Development Committee (ISDC) will be in Australia to discuss their development work and learn from the Australian experience. A number of ISDC members are expected to participate in the WSA workshop. The WSA Technical Advisory Committee will meet in mid-January to finalise proposed changes to the Australian water stewardship draft standard to be considered at the February workshop.
More information about our work in Asia Pacific
Central and Western Asia
At present we are exploring ways in which to facilitate effective stakeholder engagement processes in Central and Western Asia.
News from Central and Western Asia
Middle East events
With the UN Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) taking place in July 2012, many preparatory events are taking place, organized by a variety of major international players. In September AWS participated in a panel discussion on "upgrading technology transfer and environmental standards" at a conference co-organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The conference on the "Role of Green Industries in Promoting Socio-Economic Development in the Arab Countries" was held in Beirut and provided a good opportunity to promote our stakeholder-based approach to key players in one of the worlds most water-stressed regions. The audience included representatives from governments, the UN, industry and civil society.
AWS also presented on progress in developing an International Water Stewardship Standard, experience in testing regional water stewardship standards in Africa, and plans for pilot testing the draft International Standard at a parallel workshop, also in Beirut, on voluntary sustainability standards. This workshop was co-organized by GIZ and ESCWA, this time with an audience including local and international standards-based initiatives.
The Power and Water Leaders Forum, held in Abu Dhabi in October, was a third opportunity for publicizing our work in the Middle East. This event was held alongside the Power and Water Middle East exhibition and attracted leaders from public and private sector. We are aiming to link up with appropriate organizations to establish stakeholder engagement processes and pilot test the draft International Standard in the Middle East region.
Our engagement with stakeholders in Europe is led by the European Water Partnership.
News from Europe
First certifications for European Water Stewardship (EWS)
EWS has awarded its first gold level certifications to two Coca-Cola bottling plants of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. in Dongen, Netherlands and of Coca-Cola Hellenic in Ploiesti, Romania. EWS along with certification body, Control Union, officially handed over the certificates to Coca-Cola January 28th, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. The EWS Gold level certification signifies the high level to which operators manage these operational sites, having complied with more than 90% of the performance indicators of the EWS standard. To read more about this significant milestone please use the link on the right side of htis page.
The 6th World Water Forum, Marseille, France
The AWS was strongly represented at the World Water Forum in Marseille. In addition to launching the first draft International Water Stewardship Standard, the AWS Secretariat staff and partners promoted water stewardship at a number of events throughout the Forum. This included an interactive panel discussion regarding the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Initiative on March 15 at the Mexico Pavillion. To hear more about this event click here or email Ricardo Monsivais, Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, email@example.com.
The AWS would like to express our gratitude to all those who made water stewardship a focal point for action at the Forum. Together, we can help ensure our water is protected for people and nature today and tomorrow.
European Water Stewardship Launch
AWS Board Organization European Water Partnership launched European Water Stewardship (EWS) on November 24, 2011 at the Royal Academy of Belgium in Brussels. Representatives of industries, agriculture, public authorities and civil society discussed and identified common opportunities and challenges in order to take concrete steps towards sustainable water management.
European Water Stewardship is designed to provide the tools to make the complementary efforts of the private sector and enforced implementation of European legal requirements part of daily business practice to create long-term solutions for water management on a river basin scale. During the panel discussion on the EWS implementation in industry, Joppe Cramwinckel of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development underlined that the EWS standard is absolutely operational. Furthermore he stated that The EWS provides a tool for public participation in the river basin management also in terms of shared responsibility. Eckhard Koch affirmed the ongoing support of BASF SE based on the positive achievements as EWS major strategic partners. Mr. Koch emphasized that mitigation of water risks and suitable response strategies should not stay restricted on local and seasonal level but tools like the EWS standard should be also taken up with a global perspective. EWP's participation in AWS is helping work toward that goal.
More information about our work in Europe
Latin America and Caribbean
Our work in Latin America and the Caribbean is conducted through a dedicated regional initiative - AWS-LAC, established through a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and FEMSA Foundation, and with technical support from the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean and Fundacion Chile. These four organizations form the AWS-LAC Coordination Committee, which provides strategic and technical guidance.
News from Latin America and Caribbean
Peru: Application of the Beta AWS Standard with asparagus producers
Peru is the world’s leading exporter of fresh asparagus but the industry’s impact on water resources is a major risk factor to the sustainability of production and related communities. With the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), we are working with Swiss retailer Coop to apply the Beta AWS Standard with one of its asparagus suppliers in Peru, DANPER. As part of the same project we are also running water stewardship training with a range of asparagus producers and other stakeholders, e.g. the local chamber of commerce. In-kind support from SGS, who have co-developed and delivered the training with AWS, has helped to ensure that this training is as valuable as possible for participants.
Brazil: Application of Beta AWS Standard with water utility
The Beta AWS Standard is being applied in Brazil’s Taquarussu watershed by the Tocantins state water utility Foz | Saneatins, which is part of the leading Brazilian sanitation company Odebrecht Ambiental. As part of Brazil’s Cerrado region, the Taquarussu watershed is important to biodiversity, eco-tourism and provides water for Palmas 235,000 residents.
AWS-Latin American and Caribbean Regional Initiative’s Coordinating Committee is assisting FOZ|SANEATINS in implementing this standard. AWS-LAC is also discussing with other partners to assist in the implementation of the AWS standard’s beta version.
Implementing the Beta AWS Standard is in line with the company’s corporate philosophy on sustainability. Foz | Saneatins’ vision is to make Tocantins the first state in the country to have water and sewer services universalized, providing sustainable development and a better quality of life for the entire population.
“Being amongst the first companies in the world to apply the Beta AWS Standard, is very important to Foz | Saneatins since it gives us the opportunity to identify those opportunities for improvement in our water stewardship while helping shape this international and innovative tool to inspire innovative water management,” said Wagner Ferreira, Sustainability Manager, Foz | Saneatins.
3rd AWS-LAC Regional Forum in Medellin, Colombia, June 6-7, 2012
AWS Regional Initiative in Latin America and Caribbean is organizing the 3rd AWS-LAC Regional Forum in Medellin, Colombia on June 6-7, 2012. The main objective of this forum is to present the First Draft of the International Water Stewardship Standard, and collect recommendations, suggestions and opinions from Latin-American stakeholders from several sectors. This workshop is organized along with Empresas Públicas de Medellin (EPM), Medellin city’s public water utility. Field visits to EPM’s Water Museum and Treatment Plant are programmed. See the agenda (in Spanish) attached.
For further information regarding this Forum please contact Ricardo Monsivas, AWS-ALC Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rio +20 Corporate Sustainability Forum "Corporate Water Stewardship and Innovative Partnerships: An Imperative for Improved Water Resource Management", Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 16, 2012
Social and environmental standards have succeeded in incentivizing more sustainable practice but their impacts are experienced mainly at a farm or facility level. By emphasizing engagement beyond the fence line, AWS’s International Water Stewardship Standard aims to achieve watershed-level impacts. Similarly, tools under development by the CEO Water Mandate promote common approaches and collective action, including the Collective Action Guide, the Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines and the Water Action Hub. Using practical case study examples, this session will explore ways in which these and other corporate water stewardship initiatives can help businesses and other stakeholders that are thinking beyond certification, and that are pursuing cross-sectoral partnerships needed to achieve watershed-level sustainability.
For more information, please contact Adrian Sym (email@example.com).
4th ISDC Meeting, Mexico City, Mexico, June 25-27, 2012
The ISDC will meet in Mexico City, Mexico to review the comments from the first draft IWSS's public comment period.
On June 25th, there will also be an afternoon public meeting. Details TBD. For more information, please contact Ricardo Monsivas, AWS-ALC Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWS’s Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean at The 6th World Water Forum
Regional Input to build the International Water Stewardship Standard
On March 15th, 2012, at the 6th World Water Forum's Mexico Pavilion, the AWS’s Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean participated with an informative session, where a representative from the AWS-LAC’s Coordination Committee, the AWS Board and the AWS-ISDC, presented on the regional process undertaken during 2010-2011, the International Standard construction and the launch of the first draft International Water Stewardship Standard.
Along the Regional Coordinator, Felipe Carazo from TNC Mexico and North Central America started with a presentation on the AWS-LAC formation and process; followed by Jürgen Mahlknecht, Director of the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, who discussed the findings obtained in terms of water stewardship standards.
Vidal Garza, Director of FEMSA Foundation, reflected on the involvement of the private sector and the importance of the participation of all the water governance actors in the construction of an International Standard on water stewardship. Representing the AWS-ISDC, Maureen Ballestero, President of Global Water Partnership Costa Rica, gave the audience an explanation of how this international multi-stakeholder committee works to facilitate the construction of the Standard; concluding with Michael Spencer, Secretary of Water Stewardship Australia and Co-Chair of the AWS Board, as he discussed launch of the first draft IWSS earlier that week.
At the end of the session, Ricardo Monsivais as Regional Coordinator presented the next steps regarding public comment period and pilot tests in the region, inviting stakeholders to get involved in this process towards the future AWS Certification Program.
Second AWS LAC Regional Forum
Second AWS Latin America Regional Forum On November 29-30, 2011, the AWS-Regional Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean (AWS-LAC) organized the 2nd AWS-LAC Regional Forum. This event gathered 34 representatives from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico, and the main purpose was to analyze, compile and validate criteria for water stewardship standards. The information analyzed at this forum was the result of the organization of the 5 workshops held in 2011 in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Mexico. A full report from the Forum can be accessed here.
AWS-LAC Workshop in Brazil
In November, AWS and The Nature Conservancy organized the final Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Workshop for 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The theme of the workshop was "Towards the Construction of an International Water Stewardship Standard". This was the 5th in a series of workshops for the region that will feed into the 2nd LAC Regional Forum, taking place in November in Mexico. In Sao Paolo, several leaders from the hydropower, energy, water utilities, industry, academy, government and civil society get together to discuss potential criteria (based in the Brazilian context) for water quantity, quality, governance and transparency, biodiversity and ecosystem; and equity on access to water.
CoCriar participated as the main facilitator for this workshop. The Carbon Disclosure Project and UN Habitat were also co-convenors, and a member of Fundacion Chile from Santiago de Chile, also participated.
For more information email Ricardo Monsivais, AWS LAC Regional Coordinator.
More information on our work in Latin America and the Caribbean
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Rio +20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Joint Session-Agenda (Draft)
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Our work in North America is conducted through a dedicated North American Regional Initiative (NARI), established in 2011 through a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Milwaukee Water Council, which also hosts the initiative. A regional Coordinating Committee has been established to provide strategic guidance. Other supporters include A.O. Smith, Badger Meter, Bucyrus International, Constellation Energy, Diversey, MillerCoors, Quad/Graphics, Spirit of Milwaukee Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Veolia Water North America.
Applications of the Beta AWS Standard at Great Lakes Industries
The Beta AWS Water Stewardship Standard is being applied at five industrial plants located in the United States and Canadian Great Lakes region. These five facilities are representative of industries from several different sectors located in this water rich region. They include – The Escanaba Paper Company mill operated by New Page Corporation in Escanaba, Michigan; the Consumers Energy electric utility coal fired generation plant near Grand Haven, Michigan; the Shell Canada petroleum refinery and chemical plant located in Sarnia, Ontario; a Lafarge Canada cement manufacturing plant at Bath, Ontario; and a RockTenn corporation paper mill in Battle Creek, Michigan.
These beta applications are part of a water stewardship evaluation tool evaluation and development project funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund and conducted by the Council of Great Lakes Industries. The object of the project is to identify tools and tool use methodologies that fit the needs of large volume, self supply, Great Lakes industrial water users for assessing and guiding sustainable water use. Early work in the project has identified a set of characteristics that stewardship tools must satisfy to meet the specific needs of industries in the Great Lakes region. The next phase is to use metrics and indicators associated with the Beta AWS Standard and determine how well they compare with the needed characteristics. Initial results from this portion of the project work are expected in fall of 2013.
The Council of Great Lakes Industries is an association of major US and Canadian companies and business associations committed to promoting the economic growth and vitality of the Great Lakes region in harmony with its human and natural resources (sustainable development). The mission of the Great Lakes Protection Fund is to identify, demonstrate, and promote regional action to enhance the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
The Alliance for Water Stewardship hosted a public meeting on Wednesday, May 23 in Washington, D.C. to solicit feedback on the draft International Water Stewardship Standard. Feedback from this event has been shared with the International Standard Development Committee. A summary of the proceedings is available here.
For more information, please contact Lisa Downes, AWS North America Regional Coordinator.
A session was also held as part of the Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable meeting on May 31, 2012. A summary of discussion is available here and has been shared with the International Standard Development Committee.
The Alliance for Water Stewardship N.A. along with Deloitte and WWF-Canada held a public meeting on April 26 in Toronto, Ontario, titled “Water: From Shared Risk to Shared Opportunity—Moving Towards Better Water Stewardship.” This event featured the first in-person opportunity for North American stakeholders to discuss and provide feedback on the first draft International Water Stewardship Standard. A summary of the event’s proceedings has been shared with the AWS International Standard Development Committee.
AWS hosted its first North American public meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 25th. The meeting was co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and the Milwaukee Water Council and hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences.
Rich Meeusen, CEO of Badger Meter and Milwaukee Water Council Co-Chair, provided a keynote address. Several members of the AWS International Standard Development Committee, including both representatives from North America, participated in the event. Small group discussions were held to provide feedback on AWS and the development of the draft International Water Stewardship Standard.
A report of the event is available here. Additionally, first-hand feedback on the meeting can be heard via Milwaukee Public Radio
For more information email Lisa Downes, AWS North America Regional Coordinator
At present we are working with our Board Organizations, The Nature Conservancy and WWF, to explore ways in which to facilitate effective stakeholder engagement processes in Northern Asia.
News from Northern Asia
Application of the Beta AWS Standard in China
The Beta AWS Standard is being applied in two industry sectors in Jiangsu Province, China : chemical industry and hospitality. Both of application sites are located in the lower part of the Yangtze river within the Tai hu catchment. This area faces concerns around cumulative impacts on water quality, is at risk of flooding, and suffers from a significant loss of biodiversity.
The work is being supported by local WWF and Ecolab teams and began in May and preliminary work has already highlighted some key water risks facing these sites. Commitments, plans and some initial results are expected in late summer and the intention is to complete the majority of the implementation towards the end of 2013.
Chinese version of Beta AWS Standard is available
A Chinese language version of the Beta AWS Standard is available at this link
Stakeholder event, Beijing, China
On June 6th, The Nature Conservancy's Beijing, China Office hosted an event bringing stakeholders together to learn and give input on the draft International Water Stewardship Standard. An event summary is available here. Please contact Bob Tansey (email@example.com), Director of External Affairs and Policy for TNC Northeast Asia and Greater China, for more information.
Water Stewardship Dialogue in Beijing
On 5th January AWS co-hosted a Water Stewardship Dialogue in Beijing with two of our Board Organizations, WWF and The Nature Conservancy. More than fifty participants heard about the respective programs of the host organizations, before discussing ways in which to advance water stewardship in China. The afternoon was devoted to a discussion around the AWS International Standard and ways to ensure Chinese stakeholders are fully engaged in the Standard development process. Participants came from a diverse range of backgrounds, including local and international businesses, academia business associations and NGOs. As a result of this event we are working with stakeholders to stage follow-up event and test draft versions of the Standard at suitable locations in China later in the year.
China International Water Business Summit
During a visit to Beijing in October 2010, AWS Executive Director Adrian Sym held several meetings with interested parties and presented AWS at the 6th China International Water Business Summit. With the breadth of water challenges facing China it is hugely important to ensure a robust stakeholder input into the development of the International Standard, and for the draft Standard to be tested in China. With this in mind, AWS is hoping to organize a stakeholder meeting in China within the next few months in order to establish a Coordinating Committee prepare for pilot testing the draft Standard.
Beta Standard applications in South Asia
Participatory irrigation management in Gujarat, India
The Beta AWS Standard is being applied within the context of a project ““IWRM and Conjunctive Use of Water in the Command Area of Water Scarce Irrigation Systems of North Gujarat” which is being implemented by the Development Support Centre with the support of the Hindustan Unilever Foundation. Deloitte are involved as assurance provider to examine the applicability of the Standard within participatory irrigation management projects.
Applying the Standard in the command area of the three irrigation systems (Dharoi, Mazum and Guhai) in Gujarat aims to understand how the stakeholder-endorsed Standard can boost the development of suitable local governance mechanisms, for example village water governance committees as pictured, and how the successful outcomes can be replicated and incorporated into policy-making. In addition, it is expected that lessons from the project will inform the development of supplementary guidance material for the Standard, e.g. guidance on application in India, in settings in which irrigation is a major issue, or an application in agriculture.
SMEs in Punjab, Pakistan
The Beta AWS Standard is also being applied with SME manufacturing facilities around Lahore in Pakistan.
First stakeholder consultation event in South Asia
The first South Asia stakeholder consultation specifically on the AWS Standard was held in New Delhi on 18th October 2012. AWS was invited by the Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and WWF India to present the first draft of the International Water Stewardship Standard for stakeholder input. The event, which was held at the offices of WWF India in New Delhi, was attended by around 30 participants from a variety of sectors. Coming immediately prior to the 5th meeting of the ISDC in Dubai, the event provided an excellent opportunity for the perspectives of Indian stakeholders to feed into the deliberations of the ISDC as they develop the beta version of the AWS Standard.
As well as a presentation on the AWS Standard and related group work, the event also featured presentations from FICCI on its corporate water stewardship through its Water Mission and the UN CEO Water Mandate on its collective action tools. Presentations and a full meeting report (including participant list) can be downloaded using the links on the right side of this page.
We would like to express our thanks for the cooperation and support of CRB, FICCI and WWF India, and the interest and energy expressed by all participants. For more information, please contact Adrian Sym.