Important Water Areas

The specific ecological, socio-cultural, and economic areas of a drainage basin that, if impaired or lost, would have an adverse impact on the environmental, social, cultural or economic benefits derived from the watershed in a significant or disproportionate manner. This includes areas that are legally protected or under a conservation agreement, areas that have been identified by local or indigenous communities as having significance for cultural, spiritual, religious or recreational values, and areas that are recognized as providing important ecosystem services. (AWS, 2013)

Source: Identifying and assessing water sources: Guidance document for the onshore oil and gas industry, International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association (IPIECA), 2014. Global Standards

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