MOOC: Auditing Water Management

Study materials

Introduction. Importance of water

This introductory part is a recommended background reading that will provide an overview of the distribution and use of water as well as the general set-up of the water cycle and the role of water in ecosystems.

Module 1. Water-related problems

Understanding the issues and problems related to water and water management is main task in preliminary study and essential for focusing the audit. 

This module will introduce the pressures on the good status of water, which either cause deterioration in water quality or reduce access to water. It also discusses floods and the impact of climate change.

Module 2. Legal framework

The second module will focus on the legal framework for water protection and management. Legislation is incremental in ensuring a sound framework for the management of water resources and relevant to auditors as a source of audit criteria. International, regional (European Union) and local legislation will be covered by the module as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to water.

Module 3. Tools for water management

Since water is an indispensable good but already a widely scarce commodity, management rules must be established. This ensures that no exclusive uses are created, and the available resources are used as well as possible.

To achieve sustainable water management, it is necessary to use a complete set of tools, using legislative and economic approaches. These management tools and regulations, their targets and their implementation are good starting points for audits of all kinds. In this module, the most important water management tools are discussed.

Module 4. Planning an audit on water-related issues

This module discusses the audit design phase with a focus on choosing the focus of the audit and developing the Audit Design Matrix. Practical examples are provided on performance audits on water-related issues, and cooperative water audits are also treated.

By completing the module, one should be able to undertake a preliminary study to devise a water-related audit topic relevant to their country; read and analyse performance audit design matrices addressing water-related issues as well as to independently draft an audit design matrix for a water audit.