Eurostat's Activities in the Domain of Water Accounts
Stephan Moll
E.7 Environmental Accounts and Climate Change, Eurostat

For several years, Eurostat E.7 has been committing activities in the area of Water Accounts as this module is denoted a “development area” in the European Strategy on Environmental Accounts (ESEA). So far, only a few National Statistical Institutes (NSI) in Europe are involved in compiling Water Accounts on a regular basis. Although the SEEEA-W provides some conceptual guidance, the table-formats – as compiled by some NSIs – are far from being standardised and harmonized. A number of country pilot studies on Water Accounts have been supported by Eurostat via grants.

Eurostat's short-term approach is to explore the feasibility of compiling certain Water Account tables based on available water statistics, particularly those water information collected via the Joint Questionnaire, before considering data collection from NSIs.

As a side effect of this feasibility exercise, Eurostat will also try to bring forward the standardisation of some Water Accounts tables with a strong practical emphasis on “development area”. During this process, we expect to identify conceptual, methodological as well as data related problems.

The sequence of tables in the SEEA-W is rather comprehensive ranging from physical over monetary to hybrid flow and assed accounts. With regards to practical implementation this comprehensiveness suggests a step-by-step approach and some priority setting. Eurostat is currently focusing its efforts primarily on physical flow accounts, namely physical supply and use tables of water commodities including emissions to water. The latter are of highest relevance as they are attachable to the framework of monetary supply and use tables enabling integrated analyses (such e.g. “development area”).

In an ongoing project, external contractors are currently exploring the feasibility to fill physical supply and use tables from existing water statistics. A Eurostat Task Force on Water Accounts took up its work in September 2010.

Keywords: Water accounts; Environmental accounts; Physical Supply and Use Tables (PSUT)

Biography: Since 2009, Mr Stephan Moll is in charge of Water Accounts at Eurostat.