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June TFIA Workshop 

WSA has continued to deepen its relationship with Australia’s fashion and textile industry developing collaborative relationships with two major brands and agreeing to serve on an industry sustainability working group. Following last week's workshop with the Council of Textile & Fashion which discussed the importance of ethical and sustainable supply chains in the textile industry and the water challenges it faces, there have been additional enquiries from the industry. Our Asia Pacific Program Manager Zhenzhen Xu was able to join the workshop online from the Shanghai office to explain the environmental and legal context in which textile factories produce goods. Zhenzhen and WSA Secretary Michael explained how Water Stewardship provides a framework to address the pervasive effects on China's and the broader Indo-Pacific region’s waterways and groundwater systems. WSA now has water stewardship projects in China, India, the Greater Mekong region and the Pacific. Building strong collaborative relationships with industry clusters to promote sustainable water use is a key part of our Indo-Pacific Water Stewardship Project supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Water Partnership and Australian Aid.
From left to right: Oliver Maennicke from WWF Australia, Council of Textile and Fashion's CEO David Giles-Kaye, and WSA's Executive Secretary Michael Spencer

Renmark Project Evolves

Renmark Irrigation Trust (RIT) took a step further towards becoming the first water stewardship certified irrigation cooperative recently following a meeting of the SAMI/RIT Project Reference Group.  WSA has been working with the South Australian Murray Irrigators (SAMI) for the past 12 months on a pilot project involving the RIT in water stewardship. The original goal was to develop a pilot project of collaborative action to achieve and demonstrate good water stewardship.

With the involvement of NAB the projects is now seeking to identify real tangible benefits for individual landholders from compliance with good water stewardship (in addition to risk mitigation, brand and reputation enhancement benefits).  WSA Project Officer Megan McLeod has prepared an analysis of catchment challenges faced by the RIT area and has recently also worked with several landholders to develop site water stewardship plans.  The Reference Group resolved to seek support to continue the project and is particularly interested in the potential of a group certification project for RIT members.

Western Port Biosphere Project

WSA Board members joined with members of the Western Port Water Stewardship Reference Group early June on a bus tour of the project area on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. The group was able to see first hand the issues that the project is seeking to address such as theproliferation of farm dams on smaller ‘lifestyle’ properties.

The project is seeking to engage industry and other landowners in developing water stewardship plans to ensure best practice and address water issues along the peninsula in the area covered by the Western Port Biosphere. Although the weather was challenging, the group saw the excellent work being done by tree-growing nursery TGA near the AWS certified Inghams Enterprises poultry plant. So far 15 small business and landowners have joined the program and made a commitment to prepare and implement a site water stewardship plan that will address shared catchment challenges. The project is receiving international attention because of the interesting approach it is taking to non-point source pollution – a pervasive problem in many parts of the world.
WSA Board members with the Western Port Water Stewardship Reference Group

Non-Point Source Pollution in Peri-Urban Areas

Coliban Water hosted a meeting recently to consider how AWS Water Stewardship could contribute to addressing non-point source pollution in the developing peri-urban areas of the Upper Coliban catchment. Areas north of the Great Dividing Range, on the fringe of Melbourne’s urban sprawl, are dealing with growing populations, increasing population density and changing land-use. These are not uncommon problems around major urban areas and can impact freshwater with water cost, amenity and ecosystem consequences. 

The AWS International Standard will provide a respected framework for engaging different types of water users and landholders in understanding and addressing shared catchment challenges. This week’s meeting included a team from Water Stewardship Australia (WSA), representatives form the North Central Catchment Management Authority and Coliban Water (the regional water and sewerage service provider). The group agreed to undertake some further work on aligning existing programs with the requirements of the AWS Standard as well as stakeholder analysis and engagement in the region.


With the end of financial year rapidly approaching WSA is making an appeal for donations to help us continue to develop and undertake the unfunded work associated with building and managing water stewardship in the Asia Pacific.  This week’s newsletter and other recent editions amply demonstrate how AWS water stewardship is increasingly being taken up and applied in different countries, in different catchments and different industries and situations.

This is happening because AWS offers a solution to the world’s water problems where existing approaches are either not working or not achieving the outcomes needed.  Water stewardship is winning respect and gaining global recognition but we are under no illusion that there is some way to go before we can build a self-funding organisation to manage and lead this work.  That is why donations are so important to our success.  They provide essential funds for infrastructure and allow us to undertake the necessary supporting and promotional work that is often not recognised through project funding.  We are asking people to make a donation – preferably a regular monthly donation but a one-off is ok – to our gift-deductible foundation.  Independent trustees oversee all donations received by this public fund.  

To make a donation visit our 

Water Related News 

Pianist Performs 'Elegy for Arctic' Over Ocean

An internationally renowned Italian pianist performed his composition "Elegy for the Arctic" on platform floating on the Arctic Ocean for a Greenpeace campaign to protect the ice.
Watch here.

The human right to water: Salvadoran NGOs and a global campaign

Should water be legally recognised as a human right? Campaigners around the world from El Salvador to Indonesia say yes. Read more here.

The full picture - a holistic water goal

UN's Sustainable Development Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all - brings together all the main aspects related to freshwater. What does this look like? Read more here.

The role of water in Australia’s uncertain future

Water security is threatened by a number of factors. These include climate change, rainfall variability, population growth, economic development, and drought. What’s Australia’s water security under future climate? Read more here.
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