Blog & Latest News
Alliance for Water Stewardship
Have you heard of AWS Water Stewardship Standard(Alliance for Water Stewardship)
Definition; the use of water that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficially, achieved through a stakeholder inclusive process that involves site and catchment based actions.
Water Stewardship is much more about just doing the regulatory compliance and protecting the water supply for your own needs. Of course it is not strictly relating to groundwater abstraction, it applies to all surface and groundwater supplies, however the focus of this discussion is in relation to groundwater abstractions
Water Stewardship aims at addressing and managing the three components of risk for a User;
1. Physical Risk-relating to water availability, quality and pollution control
2. Regulatory risk-permissions/permits for abstractions,registrations of well installations
3. Reputational risk-relevant to community trust, avoiding opposition to installing for example a water well.
While larger businesses may come under the spotlight by campaigners focusing on "protecting the planet"- the smaller "anonymous" businesses/group water schemes are less driven by reputation.
They need to understand how water stewardship benefits the business/group scheme/agri food supplier from risks and costs.
Water stewardship and reliable water risk management require
Local data on water resources, geology, water quality issues etc
Site specific data
The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is the leading the organization for setting a water stewardship standard and offering certification.
The following steps are focused on the practical aspects of water stewardship for which accurate and reliable knowledge is the starting point. The ultimate aim is to reduce tangible risk for the user, for others in the catchment and for the natural environment. The key practical steps to effective water stewardship are as follows;
Know how much water you use, your future needs and your water sources.
Know your water catchment-it's extent and boundaries, other water users and water in the natural environment.
Know your stakeholders, their water needs, concerns and challenges.
Assess and understand the water risks to your business, to your catchment and to others.
Identify opportunities to reduce risks and address shared water challenges.
Develop a water stewardship plan to cover monitoring, stakeholder engagement, short and long term actions.
Communicate the principles and benefits of water stewardship and influence others by your example, your actions, your achievements and the benefits gained.
The information presented in this article is largely abstracted from a Presentation by Peter Easton-Easton Consult for Borehole Users Conference, UK, 2021.