The Value of Water: Water Stock Accounts:


In Botswana, the National Conservation Strategy Agency (now known as the Department of Environmental Affairs) and Central Statistics Office published the first water accounts in 2001; and in 2003 the water accounts were updated, expanding their accounting for groundwater. The accounts are being updated again as part of a review of the National Water Master Plan, and expanded again to include wastewater (Lange and Hassan 2006). These are defined mostly as stock accounts and are incomplete due to limitations in data availability. Flow accounts (consumption) have been established for the period of 1991–2001 for institutions (Lange et al. 2007).

Rural village in Botswana.
Source:Garner 2009
( click to enlarge )

Following the recent water sector reforms in Botswana, the determination of future water accounts may be simplified as only one institution (the Water Utilities Corporation) is now responsible for the provision of water services (World Bank 2009).

Water accounts (stock and flow) cover the period of 1990–2002, albeit with incomplete data for 1990 and 1991 (Lange and Hassan 2006). There are limitations to these accounts:

  • Stock accounts are still incomplete, lacking data about river water sources and wastewater.
  • Water quality has not yet been considered; eventually water valuation will have to differentiate between polluted and non-polluted waters.
  • Flow accounts do not yet take into consideration the cost of transferring water between water providers.
The arid landscape of southern Botswana.
Source:Department of Water Affairs Botswana 2001
( click to enlarge )