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Letras Verdes, Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Socioambientales

On-line version ISSN 1390-6631


TORRES-LOPEZ, Susana  and  RODRIGUEZ-LABAJOS, Beatriz. Evaluating the SEEA-Water as a Tool for Guiding Urban Water Sustainability. Letras Verdes [online]. 2022, n.32, pp.88-105.  Epub Feb 01, 2022. ISSN 1390-6631.

Among the different analytical methods that can be used to analyze sustainable water management and policies, the United Nations promotes the standards within the System of Environmental Economic Accounting for Water (SEEA-Water). While the SEAA-Water has been tested at sub-national levels, its implementation in urban settings is just beginning. The objective of this article is to assess the extent to which the tools available within the SEEA-Water can actually guide sustainable urban water management. A multidimensional, predominantly qualitative methodology is used. Based on the compiled SEEA-Water information and supplementary information for social aspects, the framework itself was assessed as a tool to respond to the urban sustainability challenges of growing Latin American cities. The study concludes that the implementation of the SEEA-Water at the urban level enables the compilation of information on the quantity and quality of water resources and the monetary economy of the city. This is helpful to organize information on water flows and economic productivity of water, and to detect key urban pressures on water quality. However, this framework misses relevant information needed to manage water as a holistic element intertwined with socio-environmental processes in urban areas. A key gap identified is related to issues of water equity.

Keywords : environmental economics; environmental management; sustainable development; urban development; water resources management.

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