Seeding local water security assessment
Local coordinators and focal points from eight self-governing territories – four in Jordan (the municipalities of Al-Karak, Jarrash, Al Salt and Ajloun) and four in Tunisia (Nefza Delegation; Bir Mcherga Delegation; Matmata Delegation; and Sidi Ali Ben Aoun Delegation) – have received training on how to use a newly developed methodology for local water security assessment. Professor Perlman led a workshop and discussions on how to apply the new method for assessing water security, which divides water-related issues into five areas: resources, ecosystem health, infrastructure, human health and capacities.
The assessment methodology first looks at water as a resource and defines indicators for availability, quality, supply, demand and stress factors. Secondly, it looks at ecosystem health by analysing fishing stocks and general ecosystem stresses. Thirdly, it addresses infrastructure, measuring demand, the condition of the existing infrastructure, and wastewater treatment. Fourthly, it brings human health into the equation by measuring access to water and the reliability and impacts of supply. Finally, available management capacities are quantified through indicators related to financial capacity, public education and the specific training of water operators.
The overview provided by exploring these five components allows each local community to quantify its existing level of water security and, on this basis, to take corrective measures to address its weakest points. Local problems require local solutions. The forthcoming Manual on Local Water Security Action Planning will contain detailed instructions on the assessment methodology as well as other aspects of water security in local communities, including stakeholder involvement, public opinion assessment, problem analysis, vision development, implementation and monitoring.