System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA): In-depth Training on Water Accounting


Self-paced e-learning

UN Partner

Offered by

United Nations Statistics Division

SEEA water accounting

Course details

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5-6 hours

Course summary

In-depth training on the SEEA-Water - The course provides an overview of the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) Water, the conceptual framework and set of accounts which presents hydrological information alongside economic information in a consistent way.

About this course

The System of Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water (SEEA-Water) is an integrated approach to water monitoring, bringing together a wide range of water related statistics across sectors into one coherent information system. The SEEA-Water is the conceptual framework and set of accounts which presents hydrological information alongside economic information in a consistent way. The SEEA-Water is consistent with the SEEA Central Framework and follows a similar accounting structure to the System of National Accounts (SNA). The SEEA-Water uses concepts, definitions and classifications consistent with the SNA in order to facilitate the integration of environmental and economic statistics. By doing so, the SEEA-Water allows us to develop indicators and conduct analysis on the economy-environment nexus, with a focus on water.

The SEEA-Water facilitates better informed decision-making, particularly for integrated water resources management. The SEEA-Water offers a means of monitoring pressures exerted by the economy on the environment, in terms of abstraction of water from the environment; impacts in terms of changes in stocks of water; and how the economy responds in terms of expenditure on environmental protection and resource management. The SEEA-Water does not propose particular indicators, but is instead a holistic multi-purpose information system that can generate a wide range of statistics and indicators with varying potential analytical applications. For example, Goal 6 of the SDGs focuses specifically on water and includes calls for improving water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and the release of hazardous materials, reducing the proportion of untreated wastewater and increasing recycling and safe reuse of water. The SEEA-Water methdology can play an important role in measuring these targets by providing a framework for the development of indicators.

The course is self-paced without instruction and can be taken at any point in time.

Target audience

The target audience includes compilers (and potential compilers) of SEEA-Water accounts. The target audience also includes ministries or experts which provide data used in SEEA-Water accounts. Policy analysts and those working on integrated water resources management may also find this course useful.

Learning objectives

  • Understand the conceptual framework used for the SEEA-Water
  • Learn the basic concepts, definitions and classifications used in the SEEA-Water
  • Learn how the SEEA-Water is implemented in countries
  • Understand how the SEEA-Water contributes to developing policies for integrated water resources management and sustainable development