Development of Water Stewardship

The Water Stewardship concept was formed in the height of Australia’s Millennium Drought when water risk and responsible water management became a key focus for businesses and the community. Organisations and individuals familiar with programs such as the Forest Stewardship Council were looking for a mechanism to recognise repsonsible water stewardship and provide a multi-stakeholder endorsed framework for assessing water performance. Water Stewardship Australia was launched by the (then) Chair and CEO of the National Water Commission (NWC), Ken Matthews.

In 2009, Water Stewardship Australia published the world’s first water stewardship standard with support from the MDBA. Then, understanding the need for a globally-consistent approach to water stewardship, Water Stewardship Australia, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and The Pacific Institute, led the development of the global umbrella for water stewardship, the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), which Australia continues to Chair. The first and current version of the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) was Launched in April 2014.

With establishment of the global Alliance for Water Stewardship, Water Stewardship Australia joined as the AWS regional partner for the Asia-Pacific, trading as AWS Asia-Pacific. AWS Asia-Pacific now leads development of AWS Water Stewardship in our region, provides technical support to sites and organisations implementing water stewardship, and plays a key role in the governance of AWS at an international level.

As we continue to build water stewardship in our region, the contribution of members is vital, as it provides the strong multi-stakeholder governance framework to protect and enhance the integrity and credibility of the water stewardship system. Join the water stewardship movement by becoming a member today.

With water stewardship we can make a substantial difference to securing the future of water for our businesses, people and the environment.

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