Water-related accountability of Sydney’s major water users: practices and possibilities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Purpose: This paper seeks to examine corporate water accountability and disclosure in context of Sydney, a major urban centre. Accountability is considered first from the perspective of maximising shareholder wealth, whereby water efficiency is reflected through profitability, which is reliant on appropriate water pricing. Second, accountability is considered from the perspective of water disclosures. Design/Methodology: First, the paper reviews current corporate water pricing practices for corporations and evaluates their contribution to corporate accountability. Second, the paper reviews the disclosure practices of Sydney’s 219 largest water users over the period 2005--‐2009. Findings: In terms of pricing, the paper suggests that current water pricing practices are too simplistic for providing meaningful incentives for water efficiency and that accountability must therefore be realized through either reformed pricing structures and/or disclosures. In terms of disclosures, low levels of disclosure are observed, particularly of site--‐specific water use and by private companies. Originality/Value: This review is novel in that it focuses on large water users as opposed to large, listed companies which are the typical focus of disclosure research. It also focuses on site-specific disclosures, which are critical from a water management perspective but which have not been explicitly researched in prior studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSEAR 2011 Australasian Conference
Subtitle of host publicationconference proceedings : CSEAR toward sustainable futures : earth, wind, fire and water
Place of PublicationHobart
PublisherUniversity of Tasmania
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAustralasian Conference on Social and Environmental Accounting Research (10th : 2011) - Launceston
Duration: 5 Dec 20117 Dec 2011


ConferenceAustralasian Conference on Social and Environmental Accounting Research (10th : 2011)


  • water accountability
  • water pricing
  • water disclosure


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