AWS Standard Review and Revision

AWS Standard Review and Revision

Version 1.0 of the AWS Standard was launched in 2014. As part of our commitment to continual improvement, we have undertaken a review and revision process to develop the AWS Standard Version 2.0. This is in adherence to the ISEAL Alliance Standard Setting Code. The review and revision process was led by the AWS Technical Committee, a multi-stakeholder body comprised of representatives from AWS Members. The Technical Committee responded to feedback received from a two-year global public consultation. The Committee provided recommendations on the new iteration of the AWS Standard for approval by AWS Members in January 2019 via Member Ballot.

Member Ballot on AWS Standard Version 2.0

The Member Ballot on Version 2.0 of the AWS Standard closed at the end of January 2019, and the results will be communicated to members in early February. An official public launch of Version 2.0 will take place on World Water Day 2019 (22nd March).

Members were asked to consider the final version of the Standard Version 2.0 and either approve, approve with comments, disapprove, disapprove with comments or abstain.

A summary of Members’ comments received during the Member Ballot is available here.

Changes to Version 2.0 of the AWS Standard

The revised Standard has undergone numerous iterations through the consultation process.

The key changes to Outcomes, Steps, Criteria and Indicators from Version 1.0 include:

  • Adding appropriate access to safe drinking water, effective sanitation and protective hygiene (WASH) as a fifth outcome
  • Reducing the number of steps from 6 to 5
  • Refining expectations for site catchments vs catchments of origin of indirect water use
  • Clarification on meaning and expectations for “Best Practices”
  • Separating the normative component from guidance and scoring information

Changes to Structure and Presentation

Unlike Version 1.0, Version 2.0 consists only of the normative content (Steps, Criteria, and Indicators) and the Glossary, not the Guidance. For reference, the full document commonly referred to as being ‘the Standard’ (Version 1.0) is largely comprised of the Guidance, pages 41 – 186.

Following feedback received it was agreed that the Guidance for Version 2.0 should be a separate document, and that unlike with Version 1.0 AWS should continuously update the guidance as we gather insights and experiences from implementers. The first draft of Version 2.0 specific Guidance is being developed in a more extended process and will be issued in the first half of 2019. Guidance developed to date is available on this website. Please note that components of Version 1.0 Guidance are also still applicable.

The scoring rubric defining the levels and point assignments for higher certification status (Gold and Platinum) will also be a separate document to be issued very shortly.

In addition, guidance material has been drafted to support the consultation on the revised Standard:

Guidance on Revised Step 1

Guidance on Revised Step 2

Guidance on Revised Step 3

Guidance on Revised Step 4

Guidance on Revised Step 5

Guidance on Catchments

Guidance on Stakeholder Engagement

Guidance on Water-related High Conservation Values

Transition Period Between Version 1.0 and Version 2.0

There will now be a transition period as we move towards implementation of the AWS Standard Version 2.0, with a phased approach to the roll out. More information on the transition period is available here. For any specific comments or questions you have, please contact Mona Karraoui.

The AWS Standard Revision Process

The final version of the AWS Standard 2.0 incorporated feedback received during the previous multi-stakeholder consultation periods on Draft 1-0 through 4-0 as well as several changes to make the Standard both more user friendly and more effective in driving change.

A summary of the process undertaken with key documents is available here.