The development of the AWS Standard has been primarily driven by growing concerns related to water use in water-scarce regions of the world that lack regulatory management frameworks. This project explored the applicability of the AWS Standard to facilities in the Great Lakes Basin, a water-rich region with strong governance.
The beta version of the AWS Standard was tested on five large withdrawal volume, self-supply industries that rely on Great Lakes waters, representing a cross-section of sectors: an electric power plant, a cement plant, two pulp and paper mills, and an oil refinery. The requirements were applied, and detailed results were provided to each facility for feedback and potential future use by the companies. Observations describing relevance and applicability were made, and advantages and challenges were noted. The findings of the individual pilot studies were then integrated into overall project findings and recommendations to AWS.
The results of the pilot testing process indicated that the AWS Standard provides a valuable framework for structuring, assessing, and reporting on an industrial facility’s water stewardship initiatives. It can enable facilities to apply program elements derived through the use of other water stewardship protocols as part of the stewardship implementation and assessment process. In addition, the AWS Standard has the potential to provide the flexibility needed to allow unique Great Lakes water resource attributes and ecosystem protection governance measures to satisfy program assessment requirements.The full report is available for download from the CGLI website