Introducing audits on water topics in celebration of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference
The United Nations 2023 Water Conference started yesterday. Many Supreme Audit Institutions have audited water topics and you can find them in the @INTOSAIWGEA audit database: Audit by Issue (wgea.org).
For example, SAI Denmark audited the groundwater as a source of drinking water in 2019. Almost all groundwater used as drinking water in Denmark is formed under farmland, where pesticides are frequently applied and can potentially pollute the groundwater. SAI Denmark has followed developments in the protection of the water supply from pesticide pollution for several years. The SAI noted that monitoring and managing authorisations for plant production products can be criticised. Consequently, the environment and groundwater are at risk of pollution, which may ultimately jeopardise the health of consumers. Read the report summary here.
SAI India found deficiencies in how public sector coal companies mitigate environmental hazards of mining and adherence to various statutory compliances related to environmental stipulations. Based on the audit findings from 2019, several recommendations are made serving as an aid for improving environmental management in the coal mines, including tackling water pollution. Read the full report here.
SAI Canada found in its audit from 2022 that delays in listing the species at risk affected their protection. Once an aquatic species becomes extinct, it is lost forever, depriving future generations of its benefits. Such a loss also has broader effects on ecosystems and communities. Knowledge about the aquatic species is essential to determining whether populations of species are at risk, which will help determine the appropriate strategies to protect them and help them recover. The authorities responsible based their knowledge-building primarily on species with commercial value. Read the report here.
A parallel audit between the SAIs of the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Croatia, Italian Republic, Montenegro and Republic of Slovenia examined the management of interventions in case of sudden pollution in the Adriatic Sea. Based on the individual audits, the SAIs made a joint statement in 2021, stressing the urgency for respective governments to adopt measures aimed at strengthening prevention and management response systems for marine pollution caused by sudden and accidental spills of hydrocarbons and other hazardous and noxious substances most frequently transported in the Adriatic Sea. Read the report here.
Recent WGEA publications addressing water topics:
INTOSAI WGEA Seminar Summary on Raising Resilience (2022)
Research Project on Wastewater
Auditing government efforts to adapt to climate change and ocean acidification in the marine environment