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Treatment of water in artificial reservoirs

Outcome paper:English
Cover note:English
Comment template:English
Global consultation status:Open
Deadline for comments:17/01/2011
Number of comments:19
Comments from the global consultation
Posted onProvided byComments
28/01/2011Libya / censuses and statistics department1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No comment
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
No comment
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
No comment
20/01/2011U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No. The concern that the proposed production boundary addresses is, as stated in the outcome paper, that “while the effect of evaporation is accounted for in the system as a whole, there is no direct accounting connection between the extent of evaporation and the production process of water supply (under the old SNA and SEEA-water production boundary)” Yet if we shift net recharge (that is, the net of evaporation and natural additions to the reservoir) from other changes in volume to production accounts, this raises the issue of how we would impute monetary values when constructing, for example, supply and use tables. This may distort the relevance of such statistics for policymakers after an unusually wet or dry period of weather.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes, subject to our response for Recommendation 16.1
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
yes
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
yes
19/01/2011Statistics Canada1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
This treatment is at odds with the treatment of biological resources suggested in issue paper 1. In both cases, natural cycles are responsible for the production of the asset. For uncultivated crops/livestock, or those which are cultivated under primarily natural circumstances, a harvest approach is recommended, suggesting that those assets lie outside the economy until extraction. Water reservoirs are filled by the hydrological cycle, and are therefore also produced under primarily natural circumstances (with the dam being a precondition for the production of the asset). If a consistent treatment of this type of asset (i.e. naturally produced by biological or geological/meteorological processes) is desired, then reservoirs and crops/livestock cultivated in near natural conditions should both be either in or out of the economy. If the asset boundary is extended, then the suggestion for inventory change seems reasonable.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Some more clarity could be included here. Would tailings ponds be included as artificial reservoirs – some of these can be very large. Also, would it include hydroelectric reservoirs where the water is stored because of its potential energy rather than because of its use as water per se? These uses are not clearly included under the above criteria, and while tailings ponds can hardly be considered an asset, hydroelectric reservoirs most certainly are.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes, this would avoid confusion; however links to the specific subject matter terminology should be included for reference. The concept of consumption as presented is less then perfect; for example, the only consumption a household really accounts for is the water spent on irrigating lawn, plants and crops. Nearly all the rest is eventually measured as wastewater.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes, this seems reasonable. It was noted that it is necessary to add the concept of “losses due to seepage” (or recharge of groundwater, whatever is preferred) in Net Recharge.
  5. Any other comments?
There appears to be an error in figure A1.1 – should the 80 be a 150? If not, some supporting text would be useful to help understand the figure. In addition, leaks from the distribution system are worth showing in the figures. We feel this should be attributed to use by the Water Supply Industry. There are an increasing number of water markets that enable water users to exchange water abstraction rights and profit from the exchange. Is this captured in the current SEEA? Finally, it is worth exploring the nature of water as a commodity a little further. In some jurisdictions, expenditures on water supply services can have little or no relationship to the quantity of water used. The difference between water services as a commodity and water per se may be significant. This has implications for the water asset, since the provision of the service and the revenue generated from that may not have much link to the size of the water asset from which that income is generated. The implications of this may be worth exploring in the SEEA.
18/01/2011Australian Bureau of Statistics1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No. The SNA and SEEA-Water treat evaporation as an entirely natural process. The paper advocates a fundamental change requiring an extension of the SNA production boundary - shifting the actual and imputed transactions out of the other changes in volume account and into the production account, the capital account and the supply and use tables. The recharging of a reservoir, evaporation and other losses become transactions (by way of change in water inventories) in the supply and use tables. Although conceptually this is an elegant proposal, the degree to which it can be applied in practice, at least in the monetary account appears limited. It is not clear how water in a reservoir can be valued, and monetary values observed in the market for distributed water are likely to reflect the cost of storage and distribution infrastructure with little or nothing left over for the value of the water itself. The ABS believes SEEA should retain the treatment of water in artificial reservoirs as a non-produced asset, but make a minimalist change to the physical supply and use tables to record evaporation as a consequence (use) of economic production. There would be no change to the recording of monetary flows.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Agree. However the ABS notes that the appropriate treatment could even depend on the type of reservoir and degree of change to environmental flows in the river. Extending the production boundary would make particular sense if water is abstracted into storage solely for economic use and only returned to the environment after industry and household use. If a satisfactory level of environmental flows are maintained downstream or the reservoir is mainly used to regulate flows rather than for economic use, then the existing boundary might be preferred from an environmental perspective. An extended boundary in this case would record the environmental flow out of the reservoir as a flow from the economy which would seem unsatisfactory.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Agree.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Agree.
  5. Any other comments?
An issue arising from discussion on this topic is to what extent the physical and the monetary supply and use accounts need to align. Clearly it should be as far as possible, but there are some physical flows of interest (leakages of various types) that do not have a counterpart monetary transaction. Although imputations for monetary values might be considered, it adds considerably to the complexity of supply and use accounting. It should only be done where there is a sound basis for doing it and it makes a considerable difference to the outcome. To the extent that differences between physical flows and monetary transactions do exist and are significant, it can be made explicit or adjusted for in the hybrid tables.
18/01/2011New Zealand / Statistics New Zealand1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes. Statistics New Zealand agrees that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Statistics New Zealand agrees that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Statistics New Zealand agrees that that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Statistics New Zealand agrees that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation.
17/01/2011UNSD1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes. Conceptually the argument is true. Its applicability in practice should be evaluated.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
17/01/2011Norway/Statistics Norway1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No. We do see that for the purpose of certain analyses, it can be of interest to extend the production boundary of the SNA, but Statistics Norway would not recommend to differ from the SNA on this issue. For the purpose of SEEA, we do not see the value added of differing from SNA on this specific issue and we also question how to implement in practice the extensions of this production boundary.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes, for the purpose of the recommendation 16.1 we agree.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes, we agree.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
No, we do not agree. We would recommend not to introduce new concepts, and would suggest staying with the SEEA terminology of “change in inventories”.
17/01/2011Mexico / INEGI1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes. This specification is important, because when water is been extracted from natural deposits is considered an environmental flow to the economy. It is important to note, that artificial reservoirs are part of the economy, so when its considered this treatment, is took for granted this issue. Furthermore, this will allow having a more detailed consideration of some issues, such as evaporation losses in artificial containers. Regarding the net recharge, considering it as change in inventory it is harmonized with the SNA concept.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes. This definition includes any physical modifications made by human beings for the economic exploitation of the resource, thus, there is also the regular management of the resource for related production processes.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes, however, it should be noted that the SEEA Water consider the "consumption" of water as the one which is not given back to the environment or to other economic units, while "consumption" in the SNA refers to issues related with production costs and human needs (intermediate consumption and final consumption). That is why efforts should be made to homogenize the terminology in various areas of environmental accounting.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes, since this way it’s possible to harmonize this term with the “changes in inventories” one, written in the SNA.
  5. Any other comments?
Not at the moment.
17/01/2011France/ Ministry in charge of Ecology1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes. The analogy with the cultivated forests growth is convincing. The accounting sequence that is presented in table 2 diverges on many points from a national accounts treatment. As a physical accounting is concerned this is not a problem. We have just to keep in mind any possible consistence issue with a valuation vol 2.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes. If the term "water consumption" is kept, a short definition of this term (see paragraphs 43 & 44) should be stated earlier in the outcome paper (before the supply and use tables pp 5 & 6) in order to avoid any misinterpretation.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
17/01/2011European Commission/Eurostat1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No. In the SEEA there have to be good reasons to diverge from the SNA and in this case diverging appears to bring more disadvantages than advantages (as explained in §26-§29 and under 16.2 definition). The recommendation in §30 is the preferred treatment – where the current treatment in the SEEA-2003 and SNA are retained – with evaporation being recorded as a memorandum item.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Since we do not agree with the recommendation in 16.1, this question is moot. Secondly, even if we wanted to deviate, the existing international definitions differ too much to permit one standard SEEA definition applicable in all cases.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes, alignment is desirable to the degree that it makes sense – but water, energy and material flow accounting are three different things with different inherent physical properties and characteristics so that convergence may not be possible. It is true that "consumption" is misused in energy, Economy-wide Material Flow Indicators and other statistics, but the solution is to correct these errors and not to perpetuate or endorse the misuse of the term ''consumption'' in the SEEA.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
It is sensible to use terminology that resonates in the water statistics/hydrology communities – but this proposal does not solve the "net" problem from the accountants'' point of view. Due to the lack of a better term, this seems to be the best option.
17/01/2011Switzerland, Federal Statistical Office1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes. The outcome paper is not very specific in how this alignment could be done. Nonetheless the recommendation will simplify terminology and facilitate understanding of these accounting methods by non-specialist.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes. We agree with this recommendation, even if some variables are difficult to assess, especially evaporation.
  5. Any other comments?
Most water flows related to artificial reservoirs for hydropower production are difficult to assess on national level, as they are not readily disclosed by the power plant operators. Furthermore the inflows to water reservoirs, particularly in mountainous regions are very complex, including many cross-basin transfers. Particularly such cross-basin transfers (diversions of water from “natural” catchments to a power-production catchments) should be carefully considered regarding the definitions of in-/ outflows and recharge flows.
17/01/2011Jordan/Department of Statistics(DoS)1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
We agree to extend the boundary of SNA to consider water in artificial reservoirs as supply to economy and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories considering reflecting the rate of evaporation particularly, it changes according to the nature of water restoring.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
We agree to use this definition for artificial reservoirs and to consider the big dams only which have big impact on water balance.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
We agree.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
We agree for this concept but we emphasize on the loss of water through evaporation should be accounted.
17/01/2011Statistics Sweden1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
17/01/2011Statistics Denmark1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
In principle we have no objection to treat water in artificial reservoirs as part of the economy, but we doubt the logic in regarding he water in the reservoir as a productn(para 21). Especially if it is maintained that physical product output is going to be measured net of losses. In order to be consistent with the monetary transactions the water in the reservoir - or most of it - would have to be regarded as residuals already at the point of entry into the reservoir.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
We agree that a clear terminology should be implemented, and that the term water consumption as defined in water statistics is not applicable for the SEEA. Consumption should be reserved to meaning the same thing as in SNA. However, a term like hydrological consumption could probably be used.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
17/01/2011Central Bureau of Statistics Israel1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
17/01/2011Turkish Statistical Institute1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
Yes. Since the artificial reservoirs are accepted as an economic units, then water supplying the artificial reservoirs would be a product inputting the economic system. And the water recharged would be recorded as a change in inventories.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes. We agree with the definition of artificial reservoirs in paragraph 33
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes. The difference between definitions may create problems especially in hybrid accounts.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes.
17/01/2011ROMANIA/National Institute of Statistics1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No. Defining boundaries is very difficult. In general, artificial reservoir management is different from managing the production process. In our opinion water should be considered to become a product when is abstracted from reservoirs.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
Yes
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
We agree if the definitions and the concepts can be harmonized.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
17/01/2011Statistics Netherlands1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
We do not agree with an extension of the production boundary with respect to artificial reservoirs. The main reason for the proposed change in system boundary for SEEA with respect to water is to include water evaporation of artificial reservoirs in the SUTs and to attribute it to an economic activity. The focus is to have a better value for the indicator water consumption. However, by changing the system also other indicators that can be derived from the SUT are changed or can no longer be easily be derived from the accounts. For example total water received from other economic units (mostly tapwater) and water abstraction for the economy as a whole changes (see data examples). For wet countries (like the Netherlands) these are more important indicators than water consumption. Adding a memorandum item for the amount of evaporation as part of the supply and use structure would, in our opinion, avoid these problems. The proposal has important consequences for the water emissions accounts, which are very important for example for the usability for the European water framework directive. Also from a practical point of view (as the ultimate goal should be that all countries will implement SEEA!) there are a number of issues. It will be very difficult to compile water accounts based on the proposed changes. First, a country needs to consider all its water reservoirs and decide if it is artificial or natural. The criteria and definition proposed in the paper still are not always clear as there are many border cases. Second, for all the artificial reservoirs there need to be data available on the inflows and outflows and precipitation to compile the accounts. So a lot of detailed data is needed that may not be available. So, Statistics Netherlands would propose to retain the treatment of water in artificial reservoirs as a non-produced asset. We prefer the option given in paragraph 30 of the outcome paper to retain the current treatment whereby water is considered to become a product when it is abstracted from reservoirs but to also explicitly record memorandum items estimating the amount of evaporation as part of the supply and use table structure.
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
No. The proposed definition of artificial reservoirs still is ambiguous. There are a lot of reservoirs for which it is not clear if they may fit the definition. For example, for the Netherlands, maybe with exception of the rivers, all water bodies may be considered as artificial reservoirs as they are on a regular basis managed with respect to the water level, water volume or water quality. This problem is one of the reasons why we do not agree with the proposal of question 1.
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
Yes. It is a good idea to align these concepts. There are some important issues that need to be taken into account. One of these issues has to do with consistency of boundaries across the different subsystems. There are differences between the MFA harvest approach (and used biomass growth) and the SEEAW. Issues arise both at the begin (from env. to economy) and end points (economy to env.). • begin point. As noted in the outcome paper regarding issue 1, only when an ecosystem input approach is followed, are we able to estimate water consumption (defined in SEEAW as the difference between use and supply of for instance agriculture). When we follow the MFA harvest approach only the water that is embedded in say tomatoes is included regardless of whether they have been produced under warm (lots of evaporation and hence water consumption) or cold (little evaporation and hence water consumption) conditions. The issue here is really what the objectives of the subsystem are: are we primarily interested in economic causes of pressures or are we interested in the eventual environmental impacts. For instance in the air emission accounts weather corrections are sometimes performed on the air emissions data to exclude natural processes that are outside the responsibility of economic actors. Likewise one could argue that also in the water accounts the boundary would have to be shifted towards the MFA boundary and include only water embedded in products to exclude climate variability. On the other hand, the main policy interest is primarily in measuring water abstraction and water consumption! • the same issue arises regarding end points. For instance, in the Dutch water emission accounts, emissions to water are attributed to agriculture at the moment they end up in water (i.e. when they are washed out due to precipitation i.e. from an impact perspective), not at the moment they are spread on land (more then MFA perspective). In short: in practice, different subsystems address different policy concerns and as a result also use different boundaries (as well as terminology). There appear to be 3 options: • We fix the boundary in SEEA Vol 1 as being the MFA (used biomass growth) boundary, and we expand the boundary in SEEA Vol 2 to include for instance water consumption. This would be in line with the suggestion to have different asset boundaries in Vol1 and 2. • We stick to the ecosystem approach in the whole of SEEA (essentially keeping SEEA-2003 as is). • We allow different subsystems on par, seeing them in a way as satellites of mother SEEA standard.
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
Yes
10/01/2011Iran/Statistical Centre of Iran1. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA, the production boundary of the SNA should be extended such that water in artificial reservoirs should be treated as entering the supply of the economy at the time it enters the artificial reservoir and the net recharge of water to artificial reservoirs should be recorded as a change in inventories?
No comment
  2. Do you agree that for the purposes of the applying the treatment outlined in recommendation 16.1 the scope of artificial reservoirs should be man-made reservoirs used for storage, regulation and control of water resources where a regular human intervention is needed to maintain a certain water level, water volume, storage capacity or water quality?
No comment
  3. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the various concepts around consumption and use within water, energy and material flow accounting should be aligned?
No comment
  4. Do you agree that in the revised SEEA the term net recharge be used to reflect the net inflows and outflows from artificial reservoirs and other water bodies including the loss of water through evaporation?
No comment
  5. Any other comments?
No comment
 

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