Prioritising problems to improve local water security

May 10, 2016

Working groups from four Jordanian municipalities and four Tunisian delegations are continuing to take action to improve local water security. This week, the Jordanian municipalities met by the shore of the Dead Sea, while the Tunisian delegations met by the Mediterranean Sea in Hammamet.


Before the meetings, each team completed a local water security assessment of their municipal water system. The assessment covered five component areas: Resources, Ecosystem Health, Infrastructure, Human Health, and Capacities. Each of the five components comprised five indicators. Calculating each of the indicator scores resulted in five component scores and an overall score in an attempt to measure water security in each community.

Following the results of both the local water security assessment and the public opinion assessment, participants were engaged in the next step of the local water security action planning process: analysing and prioritising problems. This process was broken down into three steps:

  • Step 1. Problem deconstruction. Participants differentiated between problems and symptoms. Symptoms are visible signs or events that indicate that a problem exists and represent the effects of the problem.
  • Step 2. Problem definition. Working groups defined the problem statements for each root problem, focusing on today’s problems not tomorrow’s, and on brevity and specifics.
  • Step 3. Problem prioritisation. Working groups discussed and prioritised problems in order to draw up a final list that can be used in the next steps of the planning process. Criteria used in problem prioritisation included: urgency, importance, feasibility, and the willingness of the planning team and the community at large to solve the problem.

From this problem analysis and prioritisation process, the teams were able to make further progress in local water security action planning, determining what actions will be taken in order to improve local water security in both locations.

By Jacob Petersen-Perlman

Tags: MENA Region

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