OOSKAnews Talks - Adrian Sym, Alliance For Water Stewardship


Adrian Sym, Chief Executive of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), speaks with David Duncan, Publisher, OOSKAnews in this (LINK) OOSKAnewscast audio interview.

This OOSKAnewscast was recorded on the occasion of the release of Version 2.0 of the International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard).

 Sym describes the background and rationale for AWS, and new features and benefits of 2.0, including the introduction of a "WASH Outcome" to the Standard. AWS is a global membership collaboration comprising businesses, NGOs and the public sector. Alliance members contribute to the sustainability of local water-resources through their adoption and promotion of a universal framework for the sustainable use of water – the AWS Standard – that drives, recognizes and rewards good water stewardship performance.

The Alliance defines water stewardship as the use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that includes both site- and catchment-based actions.

Implementing the AWS Standard can bring about many benefits for water-use sites. It supports them to:

  • Understand water dependencies and impacts
  • Mitigate operational and supply chain water risks
  • Ensure responsible water procedures are in place
  • Build relationships with local water-related stakeholders
  • Address challenges shared with others in the catchment
  • The Standard can be implemented by any site, in any sector, in any catchment around the world. In addition, the Standard can also be used by others interested in mitigating water risks including corporates, investors and public sector agencies as a framework to evaluate and plan water stewardship practices.

Version 2.0 of the AWS Standard (downloadable at link) provides water stewards with a five-step continual improvement framework that enables sites to commit to, understand, plan, implement, evaluate and communicate water stewardship actions.

  • Good Water Governance
  • Sustainable Water Balance
  • Good Water Quality Status
  • Important Water-related Areas
  • Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene For All (WASH)

Adrian Sym has led AWS since 2011, working to ensure that the International Water Stewardship Standard is recognized globally both for its credibility and its ability to inspire water users and managers to be responsible stewards of our freshwater resources. A development and sustainability professional, Adrian has extensive international experience ranging from Fairtrade International in Germany to grassroots NGOs in Nepal and Bangladesh.

His diverse experience, together with his academic background (Masters in International Policy and Diplomacy), has helped to shape Adrian’s view on sustainable development, believing that this can only be achieved through relationships builton trust and respect amongst and between stakeholder groups.