What is Water Stewardship?
Stewardship is about taking care of something that we do not own. Stewardship approaches that focus on the management of public goods like forests, fisheries or, in our case, freshwater resources, are based on the premise that we are all accountable for the sustainable management of those resources and are, therefore, based on collective responses.
We define water stewardship as:
“The use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site and catchment-based actions.”
Good water stewards understand their own water use, catchment context and shared risk in terms of water governance, water balance, water quality and important water-related areas; and then engage in meaningful individual and collective actions that benefit people and nature.
Our water stewardship system:
The AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) is an international, ISEAL-compliant, standard that defines criteria and indicators for how water should be stewarded at a site and catchment level in a way that is environmentally, socially, and economically beneficial. The AWS Standard provides water stewards with a six-step continual improvement framework that enables sites to commit to, understand, plan, implement, evaluate and communicate water stewardship actions.
Implementing the AWS Standard helps sites to:
- mitigate their water risks,
- address their shared water challenges in the catchment, and
- ensure that responsible water stewardship actions are in place to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive impacts for everyone.
The AWS Standard can be implemented by any site, in any sector, in any catchment around the world. Furthermore, the Standard can be harnessed by others interested in mitigating corporate risks, such as water-related supply chain risks or investors, as well as public sector agencies as a framework to evaluate good water management practices.
The AWS Standard is supported by a verification system which enables verification of practices, the use of compliance claims and verified logos. The verification system recognises the different levels of performance outlined in the AWS Standard and offers independent verification of performance in a robust and credible manner.
Become a Water Steward
- Download the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard
- Attend water stewardship training
- Interested in implementing water stewardship at your site (water users)? Contact us or engage an accredited water stewardship Consultant
- Want to promote water stewardship in your catchment (investors, natural resource managers, etc)? Contact us
- Become a certified water stewardship site through the AWS Certification System