International Water Stewardship Standard Launched
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Water Stewardship Australia April 2014 Newsletter


International Water Stewardship Standard launched 

The International Water Stewardship Standard (IWSS) was formally launched on 8th of April at a meeting of the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate in Lima Peru. Speaking by video, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Chair of the IPCC and Director General of TERI (a water stewardship partner organisation in India), drew on his experience leading the scientific work on climate change to stress the importance of voluntary, market-based solutions; of involving the private sector in finding solutions (‘government can’t do this alone’); and the importance of bottom-up solutions that start from a local level and involve local stakeholders.  Other speakers included the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Peruvian asparagus producer and field trial company DonPer and former Director for Natural Resources and Energy at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The full event can be viewed here: launch event 60 minute video

New standard attracts global interest

The new standard has attracted attention from corporations, governments and NGOs as a useful tool for defining and evaluating good water stewardship.  In Peru, where the standard was launched, national government agencies such as the National Water Authority, the National Competitiveness Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture (as well as business organisations) expressed an interest in working with the standard on that country’s difficult water issues.  The launch event attracted 150 people.  Nestle and US food giant General Mills announced they would join a host of other companies as well as UN agencies, social and environmental NGOs as founding partners.  See AWS launch messages and The Guardian: The Guardian Sustainable Business

Australian launch attracts national interest 

WSA held an Australian launch of the International Water Stewardship Standard at SA Water in Adelaide in cooperation with the Water Industry Alliance on the 16th of April.  Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) Chair Craig Knowles was a special guest at the launch.  He acknowledged the importance of engaging all stakeholders in water solutions and the role water stewardship could play in providing a framework for communities and industry to develop their own water stewardship solutions.  Other speakers included WSA Deputy Chair Julia Seddon from Inghams Enterprises who spoke about her company’s successful experience working with the water stewardship system; and Claire Miller from Dairy Australia and Carl Walters from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority spoke about their experience field trialling the water stewardship system and the benefits they had gained for their organisations.  New WSA Director Andy Roberts from the Water Industry Alliance spoke about his organisation’s interest in water stewardship.

NWC congratulates WSA and AWS 

Chair of the National Water Commission Karlene Maywald has congratulated WSA and AWS on the release of the international water stewardship standard.  Ms Maywald said:  “We share their (WSA and AWS) enthusiasm for the water stewardship concept and look forward to it becoming even more widely adopted.  In a world increasingly worried about the security of water resources, water stewardship is not just the business of governments.  Creation of globally recognised water stewardship standards and certification procedures will encourage all water users to adopt practices that are environmentally sustainable, socially beneficial and economically productive.”  The full text of Ms Maywald’s statement is available here: NWC message for launch of IWSS

WSA in the media 

To coincide with the Australian launch of the international standard WSA Secretary Michael Spencer, International Standard Development Committee member Prof. John Langford and Group Manager Environment at Inghams Enterprises Julia Seddon were interviewed on the ABC Radio National program Bush Telegraph.  The interview is available as an ABC podcast.  ABC South Australian Country Hour also interviewed Secretary Michael Spencer and that program is available to download here.  The water stewardship interview is about 20 minutes into the program.

Where to find a copy of the standard 

The new standard retains the same four water stewardship principles as the beta standard; sustainable water balance, good water quality, healthy important water related areas and good water governance.  Copies of the standard are available from the Alliance for Water Stewardship web site.

Training programs for use of the IWSS 

WSA is currently developing a training program to assist organisations wanting to use the standard either within their own operations, in their supply chain or in their catchment.  The first sessions will be scheduled for June (following a trial program in May).  People interested in joining a one-day training session should contact WSA Administrator Megan McLeod (megan@waterstewardship.org.au).  Additional modules will be created for people interested in becoming accredited consultants, accredited auditors or accredited trainers.  Keep in touch with WSA for news on these programs.

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