AWS International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) is a globally-applicable framework for major water users to understand their water use and impacts, and to work collaboratively and transparently for sustainable water management within a catchment context. The Standard is intended to drive social, environmental and economic benefits at the scale of a catchment.
In pursuit of these outcomes, implementation of the Standard encourages collaborative approaches that involve business and industry, government and community as well as civil society organizations.
It achieves this by engaging water-using sites in understanding and addressing shared catchment water challenges as well as site water risks and opportunities. It asks water-using sites to address these challenges in a way that progressively moves them to best practice in terms of five outcomes: Good Water Governance, Sustainable Water Balance, Good Water Quality Status, Important Water-Related Areas, and Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene for All (WASH).
Implementing the AWS Standard can bring about many benefits for a site. It supports them to:
- Understand water dependencies and impacts
- Mitigate operational and supply chain water risks
- Ensure responsible water procedures are in place
- Build relationships with local water-related stakeholders
- Address challenges shared with others in the catchment
The Standard can be implemented by any site, in any sector, in any catchment around the world. In addition, the Standard can also be used by others interested in mitigating water risks including corporates, investors and public sector agencies as a framework to evaluate and plan water stewardship practices.
The AWS E-Standard and Guidance is an online, interactive version of the AWS Standard 2.0. AWS has created the e-Standard in order to make it more accessible and user-friendly. Users can interact with the Standard, Guidance and Glossary from a single tool.