Water Accounts and Water Accounting - Technical Report

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This technical report for the Global Commission on the Economics of Water provides a foundation for water accounts and water accounting, with particular focus on the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA). It explains why water accounting is important and, with multiple examples, shows how water accounting is a key information tool needed by all water decision makers. This review of water accounts provides examples of their production and actual or potential use in water governance and management. The review also assesses the strengths and weaknesses of water accounting, enabling best practices to be identified. Best practice includes: a collaborative development process recognising the diversity of stakeholders and stakeholder values to ensure the relevance of the accounts; comprehensive coverage of water resources (surface, ground and soil water), industry and sectors (e.g. agriculture, mining, energy, water supply and sewerage industries plus households); development of multiple account types (stocks and flows, physical and monetary measurement units); regular, frequent and timely production; clear statements of data quality (including limitation); and using a continuous improvement process.
Michael J. Vardon, Thi Ha Lien Le, Ricardo Martinez-Lagunes, Ogopotse Batlokwa Pule, Sjoerd Schenau, Steve May and R. Quentin Grafton
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