AWS Standard Review and Revision 2.0

Alliance for Water Stewardship / The AWS Standard 2.0 / AWS Standard Review and Revision 2.0

AWS Standard Review and Revision

Version 2.0 of the AWS Standard 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. This page summarises the key changes made to the Standard and provides an overview of the review and revision process.

Member Ballot on AWS Standard Version 2.0

Following a two-year review and revision process, the AWS Standard 2.0 was put to a member ballot, and members voted in favour of accepting the final draft as the new AWS Standard.

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 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. Guidance was issued at the launch of Version 2.0, but there was a six month ‘input period’ (March to September 2019) where implementers and other stakeholders could provide feedback on the new Guidance before it was finalised. The new General Guidance was released in January 2020, and the interim Guidance that was available previously is available to download here.

Please note that components of Version 1.0 Guidance are also still applicable. The Scoring Rubric defines the levels and point assignments for higher certification status (Gold and Platinum).The Guidance and the Scoring Rubric are both available alongside the download of the Standard, available on the menu on the right.

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 us.

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.