AWS Releases International Standard Promoting Sustainable Freshwater Use

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) “International Water Stewardship Standard 1.0” provides a framework promoting sustainable freshwater use for international projects such as this AWS project in Latin America. © R. Monsivais/TNC

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) “International Water Stewardship Standard 1.0” provides a framework promoting sustainable freshwater use for international projects such as this AWS project in Latin America. © R. Monsivais/TNC

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) has released the first “International Water Stewardship Standard 1.0” as an international framework promoting sustainable freshwater use, according to an AWS news release.

The Standard provides a roadmap to sustainable water use, actions to address shared water challenges, and guidelines to mitigate water risks. It defines criteria for responsible water stewardship applicable around the world to build on other water-related tools and generate social, environmental, and economic benefits. The Standard was developed to support public-sector agencies, align with other sustainability initiatives, and help water users in relevant sectors evaluate and improve their effects on watersheds through changing water governance, consumption, and water quality, the news release says.

AWS works to promote water stewardship through training, best-practice sharing, and implementing water improvement projects such as this one in Latin America. © R. Monsivais/TNC

AWS works to promote water stewardship through training, best-practice sharing, and implementing water improvement projects such as this one in Latin America. © R. Monsivais/TNC

AWS was formed in 2009 by 10 organizations including the Water Environment Federation (Alexandria, Va.), to address water use issues worldwide. AWS gathers leaders in sustainable water management to develop a set of programs on verification, membership, and training to advance water stewardship. Now, it consists of 29 organizations working to promote water stewardship through training, implementation, and best-practice sharing. AWS now accepts new member organizations to help protect shared resources and shape the future of water stewardship, the news release says.

For the future, AWS plans to offer training focused on action and based on experience from real-world implementation, with courses developed by experts and delivered with local relevance. A modular design will offer introductory through advanced courses, the news release says.

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