Features

The MEDA Water Programme Substantially boosted Regional Cooperation in Water Management

 

Executed by: 69 organizations, 20 NGOs, 23 universities, 16 research institutes, 9 government agencies
 
Interview with the technical coordinator Gert Soer
 
The MEDA Water Programme has given an enormous boost to regional cooperation between different actors in the field of water management, says its technical coordinator Gert Soer, replying to questions from the EuroMed Info Centre in view of the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Water taking place in Jordan on December 22.
 
He says that thanks to this Programme, funded by EuropeAid’s Regional Programme, “governments have started reevaluating local water management and placed it higher on their development agendas.” The MEDA Water Programme was executed by 69 different organizations in participating countries, 20 NGOs, 23 universities, 16 research institutes and 9 government agencies.
 
As for how it has benefited citizens in the Mediterranean in the six years it has been operating, Gert Soer gives some examples: “Through increase of water supply, solution of rural sanitation problems, improvement of agricultural outputs and a more effective spending of government money directed at solving problems of the rural population.”
 
Q. The Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for Local Water Management (MEDA WATER) has been going on for six years. What would you consider as its main achievements so far?
 
The MEDA Water Programme has given an enormous boost to regional cooperation between different actors in the field of water management. At the same time it has introduced many new technologies and shared knowledge that can be used for improving local water management in all its aspects. In a number of countries we are now seeing effects of the hard work of the MEDA Water Programme; Governments start planning the continuation and extension of activities we have started. Thanks inter alia to the MEDA Water Programme, Governments have started reevaluating local water management and placed it higher on their development agendas.
  
Q. What are the main areas of focus of this Programme, in the Mediterranean Partner Countries and on what levels (government, NGOs etc)?
 
The focus of the programme has been on the transfer of technology with regard to the improvement of water availability, the improvement of rural sanitation and the reuse of wastewater in agriculture, the improvement of the living standards in the rural area through improvement of irrigation water efficiency, the strengthening of the role of water users in planning and decision-making through their active participation, the promotion of autonomous desalination using alternative energy, changes in drought management away form crisis management to pro-active management and many other issues. Dissemination and knowledge transfer North-South and South-South have also been a crucial aspect of the MEDA Water Programme. The programme was executed by 69 different organizations in the participating countries, 20 NGOs, 23 universities, 16 research institutes and 9 government agencies.
 
Q. How does its work impact the citizens in the Mediterranean region?In which country was it more significant?
 
The MEDA Water Programme worked in 7 MEDA countries, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It was significant in all of these countries, but the biggest recipients were Morocco and Jordan. It worked with members of the scientific community and government authorities, but in the first place with rural and peri-urban communities and their population. The Programme has taken care that women were equally integrated in the work of the projects. The population has benefitted from the MEDA Water Programme through increase of water supply, solution of rural sanitation problems, improvement of agricultural outputs and a more effective spending of government money directed at solving problems of the rural population.
 
Q. The issue of water will be discussed by the Euro-Med ministerial meeting on water. What could be the expectations from this meeting?
 
We hope that the example of the Turin Conference of Water Ministers in 1999 will be followed and a regional programme will be endorsed that further improves water supply and sanitation of the rural population, building on the strategy of the MEDA Water Programme and learning from its successes and failures - which were fortunately not too many! However, we believe too much attention is given to investments and urban water supply and sanitation.
 
 
What's next

 
The next Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference will pave the way for a renewed regional strategy in the water sector. On a more technical level, future regional cooperation on water will be closely linked to the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative for the de-pollution of the Mediterranean.
 
USEFUL WEBSITES
 
Ministerial conference website
 
MEDA Water Programme website
 
MEDA Water – Resource Management fiche and news
 
EMWIS/SEMIDE – Water sector cooperation
 
EMWIS/SEMIDE fiche and news
 
Horizon 2020 – De-polluting the Mediterranean Sea
 
Regional Cooperation

 


NEWS
H2020 Initiative sets ambitious objectives for new phase to boost protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution
National representatives in charge of Environmental Policy from more than 20...
EU project seeks to support sustainable forest management in the Southern Mediterranean
What if the Mediterranean forest was an engine of economic growth, able to...
FEATURES
The jellification of the oceans
Growing numbers of jellyfish are turning up on Mediterranean beaches, which is...
Stopping water leakages
In an effort to optimize water consumption and to minimize leakages in the...
Turning olive oil waste into euros while protecting nature
It’s no secret that the Mediterranean region accounts for the...
PUBLICATIONS
“How to develop a Sustainable Energy Action Plan in South Mediterranean Cities”
The European Commission has published a guidebook on ‘How to develop a...
Regional Cooperation in the EU Neighbourhood
  A brochure highlighting the key priorities of regional cooperation in...
Research and Innovation in support of the European Neighbourhood Policy
 The European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation has published...
LINKS