Towards Harmonisation and Standardisation: SEEA-Water
Peter Harper
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, Australia

Water is an essential element for life. Because of its critical importance an integrated overall approach to managing water is fundamental to ensuring that water's social, economic and environmental benefits are maximised, and water resources are developed and used on a sustainable basis. Such an approach should be underpinned by sound statistics that are harmonised and standardised and comparable across countries. The System of Environmental Economic Accounting for Water (SEEA-Water) provides an internationally agreed standard for statistical measurement linking the hydrological system to the economy. The paper describes the purpose and importance of SEEA-Water. It discusses the development of SEEA-Water and its structure and content within the context of environmental economic accounting more broadly. The paper discusses how SEEA-Water can be used to inform policy and deals with issues in implementing SEEA-Water in countries.

Keywords: Water; Environmental Accounts; Standards

Biography: Peter Harper is Deputy Australian Statistician with responsibility for a diverse range of subject matter, including labour, demography, industry, agriculture, rural and regional and environment statistics. This includes being Program Head for the Australian Population and Housing Census, with responsibility for the planning and delivery of the successful 2011 Census. Peter has an Economics Degree from the Australian National University and has worked at the ABS for almost 30 years. He also worked for three years at the International Monetary Fund on balance of payments issues.

He is a member of the Government 2.0 Taskforce; the State of the Environment 2011 Committee; and, the Tourism Research and Development Advisory Board.

Peter is actively involved in international statistical issues, including chairing the United Nations Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting