Agrifood Economics

Water accounting and auditing for better water governance

FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief 31
Year: 2020
Author(s): FAO

In the face of intensifying water constraints, growing demand for water and worsening inequalities in access to it, water accounting and auditing are crucial enabling factors for improved water governance. Water underpins many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not least those relating to Zero Hunger and Clean Water and Sanitation. Urgent action is needed to change how water is used by sectors and individuals and so that it is managed sustainably, efficiently and equitably. Water accounting and auditing should precede any water management and governance strategy. A cornerstone of achieving actors’ consensus on essential information on water resources, water accounting is the systematic study of the hydrological cycle and the status and trends in water supply, demand, accessibility and use. Water auditing places this information within the broader context of governance, institutions, public and private expenditure, legislation and the wider political economy. Together, water accounting and water auditing support better governance and can be carried out with active stakeholder engagement at a reasonable cost.

The findings in this brief have been adapted from the FAO report The State of Food and Agriculture 2020. Overcoming water challenges in agriculture.

Publication type: Policy brief
Region: Global