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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Keryn Chalmers and Jayne M. Godfrey


Keryn Chalmers and Jayne M Godfrey INTRODUCTION This book demonstrates that international and national recognition of water scarcity and quality issues has led to action. Some of this action involves policy, some involves practice and some involves the development of information systems to inform policy and practice. Included in these information systems are water accounting systems that are being applied to varying degrees in different geographic locations. Each water accounting system discussed in this book aims to inform decision-making. However, the decision-makers and the decisions differ across systems. Are these systems conceptually sound? What are their objectives? To what extent are they complementary, and to what extent do they compete or overlap? Has their development ‘piggy-backed’ on the development of another system or occurred independently? Are they practical? Do they serve their intended purpose(s)? Should there be one water accounting system only, or can systems co-exist? These questions are all addressed throughout the preceding chapters, and we provide a brief overview of some of the key findings in this chapter. We do not propose to thoroughly analyse the systems in this concluding chapter. It is far too early in the life-cycle of the various water accounting systems to undertake something so complete. Rather, we provide some preliminary thoughts in relation to each of the questions and trust that future research will address the answers more comprehensively. To conclude this chapter and the book, we conjecture what the future holds for global acceptance of one or more water accounting systems,...

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