Euro-Med Participatory Water Resources Scenarios - Improving Long-Term Access and Rights to Water for Local Populations in Egypt, Jordan And West Bank/Gaza

Countries: Egypt | Jordan
Level: Regional
Region: MENA Region
Tags: Awareness raising | Capacity building & knowledge transfer | Planning & Policy | Stakeholder involvement
Target audience: Agricultural authorities | Environmental authorities | Local government/municipalities | National government | NGOs and CSOs | Regional government | Scientists | Students/university

EMPOWERS was a four-year regional programme working in three countries that reflected a range of water issues found in the MEDA region (European Union Members and other countries bordering the Mediterranean). In the MEDA region, Egypt has a relatively high per capita availability of water, with demand exceeding supply. Jordan and West Bank/Gaza are among those countries with the world's lowest per capita availability of water. In the West Bank and Gaza, water scarcity is further compounded by Israel’s control over access to water. Common features are the lack of involvement of all stakeholders, the centralised nature of management, and the fragmentation of responsibilities among many players.

The project had four specific objectives that were achieved within the implementation period:

  • Increasing the influence of stakeholders — particularly the poorest and most marginalised — on the planning and decision making process for the use and management of water resources.
  • Enhancing vertical and horizontal linkages and information flows between water stakeholders.
  • Demonstrating effectiveness of the approach through pilot projects.
  • Documenting the learning process.

EMPOWERS grounded the above strategies through the design and development of innovative examples in selected pilot areas at the district and community level in the Governorates of Balqaa (Jordan), Beni Suef (Egypt) and Jenin (West Bank/Gaza).

Results obtained

  • Integrated management of local drinking water supply implemented on pilot areas.
  • Implemented local water resources and water demand management (quantity and quality) within catchment areas and islands.
  • Prevention and mitigation of the negative effects of drought and equitable management of water scarcity.
  • Increased level of irrigation water management.
  • Use of non-conventional water resources.
  • Preparation of national and local scenarios for the period until 2025 that enables precise objectives to be set and actions to be taken for sustainable water management.
  • Establishment of an integrated water information management system in the Balqa Governorate in Jordan.

Success factors

  • Increased recognition of the issue and the need to share responsibilities.
  • Stakeholder dialogues for effective identification, assessment and addressing of water management problems.

Indicators used

  • The number of developed water development plans per participating region.
  • The quantity of shared valuable information and knowledge at the regional level.
  • Extent of increasing influence of different stakeholders in the decision-making process in the use and management of scarce water resources.
  • Extent of vertical and horizontal linkages and information flows.

Improving water governance requires financial resources, monitoring systems for information collection and sharing, monitoring systems for the inclusion of marginalised groups, and good stakeholder facilitation.

The project can be implemented in regions where:

  • Stakeholder participation and dialogue are weak;
  • Water scarcity is an issue, as well as joint water resources; and
  • There is a need to improve knowledge on potential use of non-conventional water resources.

Total costs

  • EUR 4.8 million