Water conservation leaders from around the world are joining forces to set basic standards for water stewardship programs worldwide. The Alliance for Water Stewardship hopes to establish the gold standard certification for new and existing water stewardship initiatives by coordinating a transnational effort to preserve the world's water resources. The water stewardship certification process hopes to align organizations in a similar fashion to that of the Forest Stewardship Counsel and it comes just in time to deal with some pressing water issues.The Nature Conservancy, The Water Stewardship Initiative of Australia, Water Witness, the Water Environment Federation, the Pacific Institute, and the World Wildlife Fund, announced the launch of the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The program will be similar to the Forest Stewardship Counsel with the goal of bringing equal standards to different sectors of society including corporations, water managers, and government entities.
Dealing with Pressing Water Issues
We've written on TreeHugger before about how the intersection of green and poverty might be the most dramatic when it comes to water issues; no resource is more precious on this planet, and, yet, no resource is more abused, misallocated, polluted, or otherwise undrinkable; 2.6 billion people in the world lack access to sanitary toilet facilities and 1.1 billion people have no access to safe drinking water.
According to a press release, the alliance members will work with stakeholders to establish a voluntary certification program for water managers. The standards will be transparant, science-based, and include a verification program that ensures that all the critieria are being met. The program will provide a visible brand that those certified can advertise as well as training programs to educate the public about water conservation.
The Obama Administration seems to understand the importance of water stewardship which is evident from the Economic Recovery Act. Rebecca wrote that the final version of the recovery plan includes $4 billion for clean water under the Clean Water State Revolving Fund programs, $2 billion for drinking water under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, with $1.2 billion set aside from both the clean water and drinking water programs for green infrastructure and water and energy efficiency projects, and $830 million for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, a portion of which will be used for river restoration projects.
More on Clean Water:
Clean Tech Forum 2009: Experts Discuss the Impending Water Crisis (Video)
Solvatten: The Water Container Which Harnesses the Sun to Purify Drinking Water
Weighing the Water Solution, Will a New Ground Water Replenishment System Drought Proof California?