Stakeholder participatory sustainable water management at farm level (MEDWA)

Countries: Jordan
Level: Regional
Region: MENA Region
Tags: Capacity building & knowledge transfer | Institutional measure | Planning & Policy | Stakeholder involvement
Target audience: Agricultural authorities | Environmental authorities | Farmers | Industry/business | Local government/municipalities | National government | NGOs and CSOs | Regional government | Scientists | Students/university | Water authorities | Water companies


The objective of the project was to improve on-farm irrigation water management and farm outputs. The project involved farmers in decision-making, which led ultimately to the creation of water user associations and cooperatives.

The project tackled the problem of irrigation water delivery of an acceptable quality and combined it with intervention in the relationship between water suppliers and farmers. As water suppliers and farmers have different interests, the project supported the communication process between the two parties. Water storage facilities were built, and small-scale wastewater treatment was introduced at the village level to increase the availability of water resources.

The project motivated the farmers to form water user organisations and cooperatives, in which structures they can exchange views, experiences and good practices. It also strengthened stakeholder and community capacities where special emphasis was placed on women playing a decisive role in the organisations. Women have been responsible for most of the agricultural activities in these regions, but are, because of tradition and lack of know-how, marginalised and largely excluded from decision-making processes.

MEDWA provided training in institutional capacity building, and organised activities in the fields of information exchange and the transfer of know-how and technology. The project combined two approaches – one socio-economic and the other technical – towards solving multi-layered problems of water management in Jordan. The main goal was to develop the region in a comprehensive and sustainable way.

The project started with the definition and systematic inclusion of local/regional and national interest groups. It then sought to establish a know-how and technology base for further implementation in technical and non-technical training, as well as to demonstrate and pilot activities and equipment (irrigation networks, collective wastewater treatment, construction of common and individual reservoirs and cisterns, rehabilitation of production wells etc.).

Results obtained

  • Improved visibility of socio-economic benefits of regional cooperation.
  • Transfer of know-how concerning sustainable irrigation water management between European and MEDA countries.
  • More public awareness and education related to problems and opportunities in the water sector.
  • Implementation of cooperative pilot and demonstration projects to increase the quantity and quality of water for irrigation purposes.
  • Installation of water associations and well cooperatives with a special emphasis on women’s empowerment.
  • Installation of transparent and concise structure for project management, controlling and reporting.

Success factors

  • Through access to relevant national and international know-how, the knowledge base of interest groups and final consumers was extended by means of professional training in 8 different sections of sustainable water resource management. This basis of knowledge and awareness was essential for the project's activities.
  • The marriage of technical “hardware” and socio-economic “software” helped to solve complex problems.

Indicators used

  • Increased interaction of stakeholders in irrigation water management.
  • Increased technical and know-how capacities of stakeholders.
  • Sustainable infrastructure and demonstration projects.
  • Sustainable association, corporate and cluster structures.
  • Number of training courses.
  • Number of training manuals and brochures.
  • Number of cooperative pilot projects on wastewater treatment and irrigation networks.
  • Number of demonstrations on irrigation and brackish water technologies.
  • Number of metallic reservoirs (communal and individual) constructed.
  • Number of water cisterns constructed and renovated.
  • Number of production wells rehabilitated.
  • Number of permaculture home gardens established.
  • Number of individual household wastewater treatment units implemented.
  • Number of water associations and cooperatives established and trained.
  • Number of annual stakeholder fora conducted.
  • Number of national pools available for international transfer of water technologies and know-how.
  • Number of exchange visits.
  • Number of conferences on irrigation water management.

Total cost

  • EUR 5.49 million