The Indo-Pacific Water Stewardship Program: working towards improving water stewardship in China and Indonesia

Kunshan Park, China

The Australian Water Partnership is supporting the Indo-Pacific Water Stewardship Program 2019-2022 — the second phase of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Asia-Pacific’s Indo-Pacific Program.

Water stewardship engages private sector industries in integrated water resources management, enabling them to understand shared catchment water challenges, guiding them to develop site water stewardship plans that respond to these challenges, and fostering collaboration between peers and between industry, government and civil society.

This AWP-funded program focuses on China and Indonesia, working towards securing a self-reliant presence in China and establishing a solid water stewardship footprint in Indonesia.

Water Stewardship China Network

Water Stewardship China Network

In the first four months of the Program, AWS Asia-Pacific has secured major private-sector commitment to help improve water stewardship by micro-electronics suppliers in China through development and delivery of training, tools and resources.  They have also recently launched the Water Stewardship China Network, bringing together members, partners, NGOs and companies interested in sharing water stewardship knowledge and learning.

In Indonesia, AWS Asia-Pacific has started on a project with the Partners for Water Program of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in the Brantas river basin in East Java. This initially involves an assessment of water performance, compliance and risks for major companies in this water-stressed basin with over 6,000 industrial sites. The second-largest city of Indonesia, Surabaya, is located at the outflow into the Madura Strait. Surabaya is an important trading hub in Indonesia and Southeast Asia and is undergoing the most rapid growth and advanced economic development in Indonesia.

Basja Jantowski (2nd from right), Director of Indonesia at the Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific, with the Indonesia team at Perum Jasa Tirta I, an institution that supports natural resource management for the Brantas River region.

Basja Jantowski (2nd from right), Director of Indonesia at the Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia-Pacific, with the Indonesia team.

On World Water Day (22 March 2019), AWS Asia-Pacific unveiled the new International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard 2.0) following a two-year public consultation process. The standard can be implemented by any site anywhere in the world to work progressively towards achieving water stewardship and AWS 2.0 provides water stewards with a five-step continuous improvement framework that enables sites to commit to, understand, plan, implement, evaluate and communicate water stewardship action. It has also been streamlined and redesigned to make it more user-friendly and accessible, and includes “safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all” as a core outcome, signifying the global water stewardship community’s commitment to WASH and achieving the sixth Sustainable Development Goal.

AWS Asia-Pacific has a number of upcoming training opportunities for those interested in learning more about AWS 2.0, and the international water stewardship community is invited to attend the fourth AWS Forum on 12-13 November 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland, where diverse actors will engage in knowledge sharing, networking and action planning.

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