International Approaches to Policy and Decision-making
Edited by Jayne M. Godfrey and Keryn Chalmers
Lise Pretorius and Anthony Turton INTRODUCTION In this chapter, we investigate the relationship between risk management, water and conflict, and ask what role water accounting can contribute in the avoidance or resolution of water-related conflicts. Water accounting, in this context, refers to a system by which flows of water can be quantified and reported, in any given economic or ecological domain. The analysis in the chapter does not specify any particular water accounting system as the most effective, just that an effective water accounting system would be needed to provide the necessary data for reporting in ways that will help to avoid or resolve conflict. General Purpose Water Accounting, developed in Australia, is contemplated as a system that can be used to provide the necessary data to aid decision-making. General Purpose Water Accounting is a communication tool about the functions and responsibilities of a water report entity, designed to inform users about how water resources have been sourced, managed, shared and utilized during the reporting period. By doing so, a key objective of the system is to enhance public and investor confidence in the amount of water available, allocated, traded, extracted for consumptive use or removed and managed for environmental and other public benefit outcomes. The chapter explores the risks that arise from the use and management of water and approaches to mitigating these risks and the conflicts that may arise. Throughout the chapter, the unit of analysis referred to could be a single firm, an industry, economic sector or...
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