Water Accounting
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Water Accounting

International Approaches to Policy and Decision-making

Edited by Jayne M. Godfrey and Keryn Chalmers

One of the most pressing global issues of the 21st century is the scarcity of water of a quantity appropriate to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability. In addressing the issue through policy and management, of critical importance is access to high quality information. But water scarcity has many implications, and it is possible that different reporting approaches, generally called water accounting systems, can be appropriate to addressing them. In this groundbreaking book, international experts respond to the question: what role can water accounting play in resolving individual, organizational, industry, national and international economic, social and environmental issues? They explore how various forms of water accounting are utilized and the issues that they address.
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Chapter 2: The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water: Development, Implementation and Use

Michael Vardon, Ricardo Martinez-Lagunes, Hong Gan and Michael Nagy


2. The System of EnvironmentalEconomic Accounting for Water: development, implementation and use Michael Vardon, Ricardo Martinez-Lagunes, Hong Gan and Michael Nagy INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting for Water (SEEAW: United Nations Statistics Division 2007) is a conceptual framework for organizing economic and environmental data related to water. It describes key hydrological and economic concepts and defines a set of standard tables for presenting hydrological and economic information, which show the interaction between water and the economy as well as water resources in the environment. The SEEAW provides a direct link from hydrological data to the System of National Accounts (SNA), the framework used in macroeconomic statistics throughout the world for more than 50 years and from which the accounting identity gross domestic product (GDP) is derived.1 The SEEAW was developed between 2004 and 2007 by the United Nations (UN) Statistics Division with the assistance of several countries and a range of international organizations. It consolidates the experiences and practices of countries and international organizations in the field of water accounts. The UN Statistical Commission adopted the SEEAW as an interim international statistical standard at its 38th Session in March 2007.2 The SEEAW is an elaboration of the handbook Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting 2003 (United Nations et al. 2003), commonly referred to as SEEA-2003, which describes the interaction between the economy and the environment and covers the whole spectrum of natural resources and the environment. The SEEAW was adopted as an interim standard pending the elevation 32...

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