Water

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Water consumption and scarcity has become an increasing priority for Australia. In order to manage this issue, it is essential to have accurate and timely information about it. To this end, the federal government has introduced the Commonwealth Water Act (2007). This gave the Bureau of Meteorology responsibility for: Issuing national water information standards > Collecting and publishing water information > Publishing an annual National Water Account. > The Bureau has since established the Water Accounting Standards Board (WASB) to oversee and coordinate all water accounting standards development activities. Preparing and presenting water accounting reports In May 2009, the WASB finalised the Water Accounting Conceptual Framework for the preparation and presentation of general purpose water accounting reports. This framework reflects the financial accounting conceptual framework, and provides a basis for the development of water accounting standards. The WASB is now moving towards establishing an Australian Water Accounting Standard by mid-2010 – with a view to the first National Water Account being published by the end of 2010. Currently a pilot is underway and, following that, an exposure draft will be issued. What is water accounting? Water accounting is defined as: ‘A systematic process of identifying, recognising, quantifying, reporting and assuring information about water, the rights and other claims to that water, and the obligations against that water.’ By ensuring that adequate measurement, monitoring and reporting systems are in place in all jurisdictions, water accounting aims to support public and investor confidence in the amount of water that is: Traded > Extracted for consumptive use > Recovered and managed for environmental and other public benefit outcomes. > General purpose water accounts seek to inform users’ decisions about the allocation of resources and enhance public and investor confidence about how water...
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