Water accounting standards

The Water Act 2007 identified new functions for the Bureau of Meteorology in water accounting including compiling and maintaining the National Water Account and developing water accounting standards.

The Water Accounting Standards Board, as part of the Bureau of Meteorology's water accounting function oversaw all Australian water accounting standards development activities. The Bureau applies as far as practicable, the relevant standard to the production of the National Water Account.

The Water Accounting Standards Board was formed in 2009 and consulted water industry experts, financial accountants and financial accounting standard setters to develop consistent standards for water accounting. It provided advice on water accounting matters relevant to the National Water Account. The Board ceased operation on 30 June 2014.

Water Accounting Conceptual Framework

The theoretical foundation of water accounting is contained in the Water Accounting Conceptual Framework. The primary purpose of the Framework is to guide the development of Australian water accounting standards, to ensure they remain cohesive and integrated.

Water account preparers can draw on the Framework for principles based guidance on preparing and presenting general purpose water accounting reports where the Australian water accounting standards are not sufficient. The framework was first issued in 2009 and revised in 2014 by the Water Accounting Standards Board, as part of the Bureau of Meteorology’s water accounting function.

National Water Account and the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1

The preparation and presentation of the National Water Account is guided by the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 Preparation and Presentation of General Purpose Water Accounting Reports. The Water Accounting Policies Note and the Accountability Statement discloses significant interpretations of, and variations from, the Australian Water Accounting Standard 1.

National Water Account and the Australian Water Accounting Standard 2

A general purpose water accounting report undergoing assurance will strengthen users' confidence in evaluating water allocation and management decisions.

Australian Water Accounting Standard 2 establishes the requirements for assurance engagements. This standard was issued as ASAE 3610 / AWAS 2 by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board together with the Water Accounting Standards Board, as part of the Bureau of Meteorology's water accounting function.

While the National Water Account has not yet undergone assurance, there are processes and procedures being developed and implemented to assist the National Water Account in becoming assurance ready.

Find more information about Australian water accounting standards development.


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