Stakeholders' perspectives on standardised water accounting reports: accountability perspective

Edward Tello-Melendez, Lorne Cummings, James Hazelton

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Purpose – This paper explores the perceptions of potential users about water accounting reports prepared under Standardised Water Accounting (SWA), and reflected in the Exposure Draft of Australian Water Accounting Standard 1 (ED AWAS 1). One of the shortfalls in the development of ED AWAS 1 is the lack of a proper study on the information needs of potential users of water accounting reports and this research paper attempts to fill in this gap. Efficient and effective water management is an important element in alleviating water crises caused by misuse of water resources. Design/methodology/approach – The theoretical framework adopted in this paper is Accountability. This concept is explored in depth across three main ideas: clarity of relationship, transparency and power. A mixed method approach was utilised in which a questionnaire was administered to users with water-related interests in five different water-related seminars. The results yield to 36 usable responses. Most questions were closed ended with possible responses ranging from either a five-point Likert scale or a ‘Yes/No/Undecided’. The qualitative phase involved the analysis of secondary by examining public submissions to the Water Accounting Standards Board on ED AWAS 1. Findings – The majority of respondents perceive that it is useful to use a standard system to prepare water accounting reports (applying SWA). Moreover, the majority of potential users are unsure about the effectiveness of such reports in discharging the accountability of water managers, and a significant number of stakeholders were unaware of its development. After analysing the submissions based on the integrated accountability model, it was found that accountability is unlikely to be fully realised. Submissions reflect the perceptions on potential users of General Purpose Water Accounting Reports (GPWAR).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventAustralasian Centre on Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference (11th : 2012) - Wollongong, NSW
Duration: 2 Dec 20124 Dec 2012


ConferenceAustralasian Centre on Social and Environmental Accounting Research Conference (11th : 2012)
CityWollongong, NSW


  • water
  • water accounting
  • users
  • social and environmental accounting
  • Australia


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