Through the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), WWF partners with global leaders in sustainable water management to promote the use of freshwater in a way that is socially, economically and environmentally beneficial.
As one of the founding board members, WWF worked alongside the following organizations to establish the AWS as an independent non-profit organization dedicated to advancing water stewardship:
- The Nature Conservancy
- Water Stewardship Australia
- Pacific Institute
- United Nations Environment Programme
- UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate
- European Water Partnership
- Water Environment Federation
- Water Witness International
As part of AWS’s Secretariat, WWF led the development of the International Water Stewardship Standard 1.0, the first global framework to promote sustainable freshwater use, following ISEAL’s Codes of Good Practice. The Standard defines criteria for good water stewardship and was designed to align with other sustainability initiatives and support independent certification with varying levels of recognition. It was developed through a four-year, multi-stakeholder, global water roundtable process that included a diversity of business, public sector and civil society interests from around the world, as well as pilot projects held in seven countries.
Over the course of nine months, leading companies in pulp and paper, mining, chemicals, oil and gas, water service provision and agriculture applied the Standard to test its feasibility and applicability. These projects helped define targets in water governance, water balance, water quality and other important water-related areas.
AWS offers a variety of ways to improve, incentivize and recognize responsible water use, including helping members engage key stakeholders within their watershed and supply chain. To encourage understanding and engagement around water, AWS will also launch a capacity-development program and membership opportunities for those who want to help shape the future of water stewardship. By joining AWS, organizations can learn what they can do to help protect shared resources, as well as shape the future of water stewardship.
AWS, through its International Water Stewardship Standard and other programs, has great potential to address WWF’s main water stewardship goals of achieving responsible water governance, sustainable water balance, good water quality and protection/restoration of important water areas.
To commit to AWS or learn more about the International Water Stewardship Standard, please visit the AWS website.