Water stewardship enables water users —governments, business and communities— to work together to identify and address water challenges.


We define water stewardship as the use of water that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that includes both site- and catchment-based actions.

farm, agriculture, irrigation

Our approach to water stewardship

We advocate for five water stewardship actions:


Understand your water risks, impacts and opportunities


Develop and commit to a water stewardship plan with targets


Carry out your plan and improve your water impacts


Evaluate your actions and impacts for continuous improvement


Disclose your water actions responsibly and transparently

Together, these five actions form a framework for sustainable water use: the International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard).

The AWS Standard

The AWS Standard offers a systematic process and guidance to understand your water use, risks and opportunities.

It is a comprehensive framework built upon the five water stewardship actions, or Steps. Each step contains further sub-actions, or indicators, that specify how the main actions can be accomplished.

By doing the five water stewardship actions, or Steps, you can improve your water performance while making a positive impact on other water users in your local area.

AWS Certification is an option if you practice water stewardship. While it is not compulsory, many businesses and institutions choose to become AWS certified as it is a globally recognised mark of good water management.

Five Steps of the AWS Standard
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