Analysis of effects of adopting Australian Water Accounting Standard 1

The introduction of water accounting in Australia has its origins in the National Water Initiative to ‘support public and investor confidence in the amount of water being traded, extracted for consumptive use and recovered and managed for environmental and other public benefit outcomes.

A stocktake of Australia’s water accounting practices undertaken in 2006, found that existing water reports do not effectively focus on the needs of all external users. The stocktake recognised that concepts and principles from financial accounting standards could be applied to water information reporting.

This has lead to the development of Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 (AWAS 1), launched in October 2012 following an extensive consultation period, which enables comparability of water accounting reports over time and between water reporting entities.

This effects analysis supports the release of AWAS 1 by examining the costs and benefits of adoption, drawing upon a series of reports, desktop reviews and industry research.

While there is a range of benefits to be realised from the application of AWAS 1, it remains difficult to fully quantify the cost of existing water information reporting. Further analysis will be required as more data becomes available.

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This report is a summary of the results of four reports which were prepared for WASB. For the further information, please refer to the full reports below:

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