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HTML Document EMWIS Flash N°91, June 2011

Released 01/07/2011

EMWIS Flash - June 2011
Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water Sector
EMWIS is a program of the Union for the Mediterranean.
For further information:
Monthly Flash produced by the EMWIS Technical Unit- OIEAU, CEDEX, SOGESID-
It is available in English, French & Arabic.
(French & Arabic versions are available few days later)

Mediterranean Water Information Mechanism / Geo-Catalogue / UfM-Water

In this issue N°91 (
1- The preparations for the next World Water Forum, Marseille, March 2012

2- Union for the Mediterranean: Dr. Rafiq Husseini underlines the importance of joint water projects for MENA Region
3- First UfM project to help tackle Gaza water crisis with €310 million desalination plant
4- EU Environment Ministers Address Sustainable Water Management
5- EU Council Conclusions on EU Integrated Flood Management
6- EU Council Conclusions on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region
7- EU: Infringement Procedures Related to River Basin Plans
8- UN Secretary-General launches the “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015”
9- Italians voted 'No' to Water Privatization
- Spanish water investment to hit € 1.2 billion this year
11- Spain: Dow opens Spanish desalination membrane research centre
12- Spain: Government authorizes land for Moncofa desalination
13- France: Nearly 80% of water bodies under their normal level
14- France:  1 billion aid to farmers to cope with drought
15- Turkish-Iraqi discussions about water shortage
16- Egypt: Political change to boost Nile cooperation
17- Palestine: Water Governance Facility Support to the Palestinian Water Authority
18- Palestine: MEDRC-Palestine desalination/reuse scholarship program set up
19- Lebanon: EU launches irrigation and drinking water projects in Southern Lebanon
20- Lebanon: Launching of a hydro-agricultural project

21- Algeria: discussion on water resources in Algiers
22- Algeria: H2020 promotes wastewater treatment and reuse
23- Tunisia: H2020 presents wastewater treatment and reuse solutions
24- Tunisia: National campaign for "Water in the Constitution"
25- Mauritania: The Urban Community of Nouakchott ready to sign the Istanbul Water Agreement
26- Saudi Arabia: Wastewater reuse gains importance
27- FAO calls for better monitoring of water use
28- World Bank: Project aims to improve local and regional management of water and agriculture
29- ESA and the World Bank join forces
30- International Hydropower Association Congress Adopts Sustainability Protocol
31- Solar system designed for water treatment or desalination
32- The World Justice Forum III: The Rule of Law in Environment & Health, Barcelona (Spain)
33- 1st German-Arab Young Scientists Forum, Berlin (Germany)



1- The 30th and 31st of May 2011, the International Kick-Off meeting of Local and Regional Authorities’ political process of the 6th World Water Forumwas organised in Lyon. The main objective of this process is to mobilize local and regional authorities in order to act together and to discuss ways to strengthen their role in water and sanitation governance and to strengthen their voice in the global political debate on water. Through plenary sessions and parallel workshops, especially showcasing concrete cases, participants brainstormed about objectives, solutions and commitments to be undertaken for the 6th World Water Forum, and this, in partnership with national and international associations of Local Authorities. On the other hand, on 10 June 2011, more than 150 parliamentarians gathered at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France, to prepare the 6th World Water Forum, which will be held in Marseille in March 2012. The Parliamentary Process at the World Water Forum was created in order to give a greater voice to parliamentarians in the global debate on water, and to prepare contributions on a series of key issues such as: transboundary waters, adaptation to global changes, the right to water, the creation of a “Water Legislation Helpdesk” for the development of appropriate legal frameworks on water was discussed. Finally, the First Mediterranean Water Forum will be held in December 2011 in Marrakesh, a first step to the World Water Forum of 2012. This preparatory seminar aims to bring together around targeted themes the main stakeholders of the Water Community in the Mediterranean. Further information on WWF6 website.

IN BRIEF (Full news)

2- Deputy Secretary General for Water & Environment attended the For’UM 2011 seminar entitled “Innovation: An Opportunity for the MENA Region” held in Paris, under the Patronage of Mr. Alain Juppé, French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs at the initiative of Ms. Valerie Hoffenberg, France’s Special Representative for the Economic, Cultural, Commercial Educational and Environmental Dimension. This event brought government and business leaders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It mainly focused on two thematic areas in the region: water and energy. In his speech, UfMS Deputy Secretary General for Water and Environment Dr. Husseini outlined the fields of Water and Environmental cooperation with better chances of success in the MENA region. These included river basins and trans-boundary aquifers, climate change (sea level, desertification), cross-border pollution including de-pollution of the Mediterranean, and environmental early warning systems (on tsunamis, forest fires, earthquakes, etc.). Dr. Husseini ended his speech by highlighting what he termed “10 commandments for the promoters of joint Water and Environmental projects in MENA” which contained ten clear indications on how to achieve successful collaboration in joint water projects. Moreover, he added that “for Hydro-diplomacy to succeed in the MENA region we must ensure that a viable political process is ongoing and moving in parallel. For without a viable political process, Hydro- or Environmental-diplomacy has very little chance of success.” Further information on EMWIS website.

3- A project to build a major desalination plant in Gaza, capable of producing 100 million cubic meters of drinking water a year, has officially been approved by Senior Officials representing the 43 member countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). A press release from the UfM Secretariat said the €310 million Gaza Desalination plant, the first project to be officially adopted by the UfM, will help meet most of the future medium- to long-term drinking water needs for the 1.6 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, which is a critical humanitarian issue. The Palestinian Water Authority, the project promoter and implementing agency, has already carried out a proper assessment, conducting a feasibility study in 2003, as well as a comparative study on possible solutions for the Gaza water crisis, currently being finalized, both of which strongly indicate that the desalination option represents the main feasible solution to the crisis. Welcoming the decision, the head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Dr. Shaddad Attili, said: “Desalination in Gaza is a vital component of the Palestinian Authority’s water supply programme". Further information on EMWIS website.

4- The Environment Council of the EU met on 21 June 2011, in Luxembourg, to discuss the protection of water resources and integrated sustainable water management in the EU and beyond. The Council adopted conclusions including a section on climate change and water policy, and another on ecosystems and ecosystem services. On climate change, the Council stresses that: adaptation should be integrated into water management decisions, as well as in the context of integrated land use and spatial planning, bearing in mind that water efficiency measures are also no-regret adaptation measures; improved energy efficiency in water supply and waste water management are climate mitigation measures; land use, land-use changes and climate change policies and measures should not endanger water bodies, water-dependent ecosystems or biodiversity; a more proactive management of the risks of floods, droughts and, in general, water quantity management needs is necessary; and the promotion of sustainable multipurpose natural water retention measures (reforestation, floodplain restoration, soil management, wetlands development, etc.) can often provide cost-effective responses to extreme events while offering additional benefits in relation to other environmental, climate and socioeconomic objectives. The Council concludes that the EU and the UN should further increase their efforts in water-related capacity building, especially for the benefit of developing countries, highlighting the importance of exchanging experiences and solutions at the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) in light of the role of water resources management for sustainable development and of water in the green economy. Further information on EMWIS website.

5- At a Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 12 May 2011 in Brussels, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Integrated Flood Management within the European Union. Among other measures, the Council calls on Member States to promote the use of available alert systems such as EFAS (European Flood Alert System) and the GMES ERS (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Emergency Response Service) to improve, together with other forecasting models, early warning for the citizens. In its conclusions, the Council underlines the need for Member States and the EU to take an integrated approach to flood management, building upon existing Member State and EU legislation and policies, with special attention paid to the Floods Directive (Directive 2007/60/EC of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks), and encompassing the entire disaster management cycle (prevention, preparedness, response and recovery). In order to further develop this integrated approach, it is also necessary to strengthen cooperation and the sharing of information between relevant authorities involved at national, regional and local levels in disaster and water management. Further information on EMWIS website.

6- At a General Affairs Council meeting on 13 April 2011, the Council endorsed the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, taking note of the annexed Action Plan that was elaborated by the European Commission on the basis of a consultation with the Member States, third countries and other stakeholders. The Council stressed that the implementation of the strategy should be launched without delay and agreed that a governance structure for its implementation and follow-up is required. In the conclusions adopted, the Council acknowledges the contribution that the EU Strategy for the Danube Region can make to the further integration of the internal market and to economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as its contribution to fostering cooperation with third countries in the Danube river basin and its assistance to participating candidate and potential candidate countries on their European path. Further information on EMWIS website.

7- On 6 April 2011 the European Commission announced that it would take four Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Greece and Portugal) to the EU Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU water legislation and submit their river basin plans. All public consultations should have started in December 2008 and the plans adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest. These plans are essential for achieving the EU's objective of "good status" for European waters by 2015; if delayed, they could mean a failure to deliver the water quality required. Directive 2000/60/EC ("Water Framework Directive") establishes a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. It obliges Member States to protect and restore all bodies of ground water and surface water (rivers, lakes, canals and coastal water) to achieve "good status" by 2015 at the latest, meaning that the waters show as few traces of human impact as possible. To achieve this, Member States had to publish, within the nine years following the entry into force of the Directive, a management plan giving a comprehensive overview of the main issues for each river basin district. Where any exemptions are applied, a thorough justification must be provided. As these Member States have failed to publish all the necessary river basin management plans, their citizens have no certainty yet as to how their river basins water resources will be managed according to the Water Framework Directive. The delay in submitting river basin plans puts the achievement of the Directive's objective at risk. Further information on EMWIS website.

8- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, Ugandan Minister of Water & Environment the Hon. Maria Mutagamba, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, launched recently the “Sustainable Sanitation: Five-Year Drive to 2015”, a push to speed up progress on the Millennium Development Goal target of improving global sanitation by 2015. The Millennium Development Goals include a target of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to basic sanitation. With 2.6 billion people – half of the population in developing regions – still without access to improved sanitation, the target is lagging far behind, and without urgent and concerted action globally it will be out of reach. On 20 December 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon the UN Member States to "redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap". The resolution established a global push, "Sustainable Sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015", to focus attention on the Goal and to mobilize political will, as well as financial and technical resources.  The resolution also made history by calling for an end to open defecation, the most dangerous sanitation practice for public health. Further information on EMWIS website.

9- Italians voted during this month to overturn laws established by Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s government. Voters blocked efforts by the Italian government to privatize water, reestablish the nuclear energy program and grant Berlusconi immunity from prosecution. The Italian government had initially pushed for private sector assistance to repair an aging water system, and they passed a law that would privatize water by the end of the year. But, Italians already had a poor taste of what water privatization would be like after some communities had to deal with mismanaged water resources at the hands of a few multinational corporations. Boosted by support from the Roman Catholic clergy and others who demand that water be treated as a human right, the people of Italy have called for their water to be managed by a public entity. 57 percent of eligible voters turned out to the polls and voted by an astounding 96 percent. Further information on EMWIS website.

10- Opening the second meeting on water infrastructure, organized by the newspaper Expansión, on 17 June 2011, Spanish MARM minister Rosa Aguilar pointed out that this brought Spain's investment in water projects this year to € 1,200 million. Recalling the series of plans her ministry had initiated for the sector, Aguilar gave as an example, the National Water Quality plan for 2007-15, half of which has been executed, bring wastewater treatment coverage in Spain to a level of 85-90%. The total investment would be € 19 billion. The National Plan for Water Reuse, with an investment of € 340 million euros, said the minister, aimed to double the total capacity of current reuse. In addition, she continued, actions were being developed in the field of desalination, managing extreme weather events, such as drought and floods, and environmental restoration of river ecosystems. Finally, Aguilar referred to innovation as a fundamental factor in the optimal implementation of water policy and praised Spanish companies, considered to be among the world's most advanced in this sector. Further information on EMWIS website.

11- A research centre in Tarragona, Spain, designed to accelerate commercialization of membrane- based water technologies, particularly for desalination, was opened by Dow Water & Process Solutions (DWPS) on 9 June 2011. The Global Water Technology Development Center was funded through a US$ 15 million Dow investment, along with grant subsidies from Spain's Ministry of Science & Innovation for research programs in the water sector, which is in line with the Spanish government's commitment to research and development in the field of sustainable water supplies. Further information on EMWIS website.

12- Reservation of 86,570 m² of public land on Spain's Mediterranean coast for the Moncofa desalination plant was authorized on 28 May 2011 by the Spanish government. The project is being constructed by the government agency Acuamed. For an investment of € 55.3 million, the reverse-osmosis desalination plant will produced 10.5 million m³/year of potable water. The project has the agreement of the Ministry of Environment, Water & Urban Housing, Moncofa City Council and the Community of Valencia. The water will serve about 120,000 people in the region around Castellón de la Plana, north of Valencia. The plant will have 3 trains of RO membranes, each with its own high-pressure pump, booster pump, second-stage pump and energy recovery unit. Pretreatment will be two stages of filtration using sand and sand-anthracite plus 5µm cartridge filtration. Chemical pretreatment will also be carried out. Brine disposal at sea will be combined with flows from the plants at Vall d'Uixó and Nules. Further information on EMWIS website.

13- Nearly 80% of French groundwater had a level below the normal in early June, according to a report released recently by the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM). If the rain has eased in recent weeks the cultures, it was not enough to improve the recharge of groundwater. On May the 1st, 68% of them were on a water deficit, against 79% this month. Only 11% of tanks are stable or increasing, while the vast majority (88%) are going down. The Paris region and the Southwest are among the most affected basins. Southeast continues to have more favorable levels. France is now living his spring the warmest since 1900 according to Météo France. Sixty departments are still subject to restrictions on use of water. Further informations on EMWIS website.

14- French Prime Minister François Fillon has evaluated on June 9 to "almost one billion euros" the amount "national solidarity will have to spend to support the French farmers” in response to “unprecedented catastrophic drought" in the country since 1976. This fund had already been provided with 200 million euros " in order to cope with the most urgent situations." This "figure of one billion euros is not extremely accurate as it will be reviewed according to the demands of farmers," he added. 61 departments are still involved in measures restricting certain uses of water, and nine others are placed in vigilance. According France AgriMer, a public institution in charge of Agriculture and Fisheries, France is expected to produce 31 million tonnes (Mt) of wheat in 2011, 13% less than in 2010 due to drought in months. It is a question of one of the lowest harvests in the last ten. Further information on EMWIS website.

15- An Iraqi delegation has visited Turkey to discuss technical solutions for the ongoing conflict about Euphrate’s and Tigris’s water level. Iraq, suffering from a two-year-drought, wants Turkey to raise the amount of water in both rivers. Turkey repeatedly refused the demand, claiming its own water shortage. Ali Hashim from the Ministry of Water Resources said, the delegation will discuss technical solutions to reduce loss through irrigation and agriculture. Iraq accuses Turkey and Syria of being responsible for low water levels of the rivers coming from these countries due to their irrigation and agricultural projects. Experts recently stated that Iraq is one of the most wasteful of water due to old irrigation mechanisms. Euphrate and Tigris provide 60, respectively 40 per cent, of Iraq’s water supply. Further information on EMWIS website.

16- After decades of mistrust and sabre-rattling, the fall of Hosni Mubarak will improve Egypt’s ties with Ethiopia and boost the chances of a new deal to share the Nile’s waters. The two most populous countries in Africa after Nigeria have been at loggerheads over the Nile’s precious water for years, with Egypt unwilling to budge from colonial-era treaties dating back to 1929 that give it two-thirds the river’s annual flow. Ethiopia, however, is busy building a mega dam on its share of the river. Eighty-five percent of the Nile’s water originates in Etiopia and it is exploiting the river to try and reduce chronic power shortages. Before Mubarak resigned in February, Ethiopia and five other Nile Basin states had agreed a new treaty which would reduce Egypt’s share of the waters and remove its veto over upstream projects which could slow the flow. While Egypt and Ethiopia signed a cooperation agreement in 1993, relations have been at a low ebb since 1995 following an assassination attempt on Mubarak by gunmen during a visit to Addis Ababa. “Any new government in Egypt, whatever the actors and ideology will be, will have to redefine from scratch its Nile policies, namely its foreign policies towards the neighbours,” said Ana Cascao, a Nile expert at the Stockholm International Water Institute. Threatened by rising temperatures and a growing population, Egypt’s water needs could exceed supply by as early as 2017, according to experts. But at least the renewed dialogue between Egypt and the Nile Basin states is creating hope that some kind of consensus will emerge on how best to exploit the world’s longest river.  Further information on EMWIS website.

17- The Water Governance Facility (WGF) has been supporting the Palestinian Water Authority in developing a water governance programme for the occupied Palestinian territory with the support of the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People. The programme includes a water integrity component which will be carried out in cooperation between WGF, UNDP PAPP and UNDP Water Governance Programme for Arab States. During the coming months, a water integrity assessment in the occupied Palestinian territory will be carried out to guide the water reform and inform the changing environment in the water sector. Further information on EMWIS website.

18- The Oman-based Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC) and the Palestine Water Authority (PWA) announced on 7 June 2011 a scholarship fund for 2011 through their joint Center of Excellence (CoE) in Desalination & Water Reuse. The scholarship program offers students in Gaza and the West Bank the opportunity to receive scholarships for Masters (MSc) study at local universities with a focus on desalination and waster reuse processes. The aim of the program is to allow students to gain skills and expertise to make a long-term contribution to the further development in water management, desalination and water reuse activities for Gaza and the West Bank. To implement this program, MEDRC-PWA CoE has established a Scholarship Review Committee made up of professors from universities in Gaza and the West Bank who are also part of the CoE Steering Committee. Further information on EMWIS website.

19- Facilities funded under the EU's programme "Support to Economic recovery in South Lebanon" and worth a total of €18 million have been inaugurated by Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, Head of the EU Delegation to Lebanon, and Mr. Nabil el Jisr, President of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR). A press release said the programme includes two components, one implemented by the CDR and the other by the Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD). The delegation visited Kfar Hamam, Helta, Al Mery, Nabatieh and Roumin, which are among the many Lebanese municipalities benefiting from EU-funded facilities for irrigation, public sanitation (especially for drinkable water) and municipality buildings. The inaugurated projects are:  - An artesian well for drinkable water in Kfarhamam (caza of Hasbaya) - A water treatment plant in Helta (caza of Hasbaya) for irrigation - An artesian well for drinkable water in Nabatieh - A municipal building in Roumin (caza of Nabatieh). The EU's support to local and regional development amounts to €54 million since 2006, out of which more than €20 million has been allocated to South Lebanon, and in particular to regions affected by the 2006 conflict. Further information on EMWIS website.

20- The Litani River Authority (LRA) has initiated a pilot project, conducted under the United Nations Development Program, which aims to bring water from the region of Bekaa to the south of Lebanon. The “Hydro Agricultural Development Project of Marjayoun” intends to increase water resources used for irrigation by farmers located in south Lebanon. The Spanish government is financing the initiative via the Lebanese Recovery Fund. The project will focus on land reclamation by constructing infrastructure for irrigation networks and improving the quality of the soil. It will provide farmers with wheat seeds to be cultivated on their lands for two consecutive years. The project will also advocate for a law establishing a Water User Association in order to ensure good water use management as well as the operation and maintenance of irrigation networks. Further information on EMWIS website.

21- A debate on "Food Security and Water" was held May 28 in Algiers. The volume of rainfall in the west fell by thirty percent, compared with those recorded in the mid-1970s. In addition, the water resources available in the country are poorly managed, not fully exploited, as explained Abdelmadjid Attar, former Minister of Water Resources. It was noted that the overflow of dams Taksabet at Tizi Ouzou, Boumerdes and Keddara ofBeni Haroun in the wilaya of Mila discharge could be recovered, if they had systems of water transfer. In addition  50% of the amount of water distributed is lost due to leakages. The rehabilitation of water supply network has strated for several years, but it is not yet complete. The water was not lacking in recent years. The Algerian consumes an average 600 m3 of water per year, the international standard is 1000 m3/person/year. The water potential of Algeria is around 17 billion m3 per year, 70% are directed towards the agricultural sector, interesting data provided by Tahar Aïchaoui, director studies and planning at the Ministry of Water Resources, who participated actively also to this debate. Further information on EMWIS website.

22- Thirty two Algerian professionals from all over the country gathered in Algiers to participate in a three-day workshop on wastewater treatment and reuse organized within the framework of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/MEP project, a press release said the course. The workshop was introduced by Mr. Tahar Tolba, Assistant Director at the Algerian Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment, who showcased the contribution of Algeria’s Physical Planning and Environment-related projects to the realization of the Horizon 2020 objectives through the construction and rehabilitation of wastewater treatment plants at national level. Mr. Stéphane Devaux, from the European Union Delegation in Algeria, took the opportunity to present the EU projects and activities implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment, for an estimated amount of €35 million. During the course, the participants experienced extensive hands-on training through the use of advanced software aimed at facilitating technology selection in wastewater management. Further to the lectures and presentations, they were involved in group exercises and discussions leading to the exchange of experiences.  Further information on EMWIS website.

23- Forty representatives from the Tunisian ministries of Agriculture and Environment, Health, sanitation utilities, NGOs, academia, and the private sector took part in a three-day training course on wastewater treatment and reuse organised by the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/MEP project in Tunis. A press release said the course aimed at promoting an integrated approach to drinking water consumption, wastewater management and reuse and related technologies, thus contributing to the ultimate goal of depolluting the Mediterranean Sea. Organized by the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education with the support of the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), the course involved hands-on training through the use of advanced software aimed to facilitate technology selection in wastewater management. Further to the lectures and presentations, participants were involved in group exercises and discussions aiming for a fruitful exchange of experiences. It took place at the International Centre for Technologies and the Environment of Tunis (CITET). Further information on EMWIS website.

24-  A group of independent experts has proposed "Water in the constitution." The group has launched a manifesto for the inclusion of the principles of sustainable and democratic management of water in the next constitution. For the group of experts, the inclusion of the environmental cause in the new constitution is a priority based on three principles of the Manifesto: "Water is a heritage of the nation, every citizen must protect and bequeath to future generations, the State guarantees the right of access to safe water and sanitation for all Tunisians. " Further information on EMWIS website.

25- On May 12, 2011 was held in Nouakchott (CUN) the second regular session of the Community Board. In a statement, the Urban Community of Nouakchott (CUN) indicates that after the second regular session of the community council, the city council authorized the President of the CUN to sign the Istanbul Agreement for Water for the local and regional authorities. The statement said that "the pact is already signed by 700 local and regional authorities from 36 countries around the world, is a non-binding agreement through which mayors and elected local regional and the world undertake to act for the management of water resources in face of global change and develop at their level concrete actions related to it". Pact of water must contribute to the establishment of an equitable, efficient and sustainable water resources management and services through an integrated, coordinated action and shared responsibility by various levels of governance. Further information on EMWIS website.

26- As Saudi Arabia faces an increasing demand for water to support its rapid population and economic growth, General Electric (GE) held the Saudi “Used to Useful” Water Reuse Summit in April 2011 to explore water reuse solutions to support water security in the Kingdom and the region. Saudi Arabia’s advanced treated water reuse capacity is growing at more than 30 percent annually and is expected to reach 2.2 million cubic meters per day by 2016, from a current level of 260,000 cubic meters per day. Saudi Arabia has mandated a target of 11 percent of its water use to come from treated wastewater, which is suitable for domestic and industrial uses such as landscaping. Further information on EMWIS website.

27- Developing countries are failing to account for where water is going, how it is being used and how much of it remains, according to a major report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The report, 'Climate change, water and food security', published earlier this month (9 June), aims to sum up current scientific understanding of the impacts of climate change on agriculture and agricultural water management, and to highlight knowledge gaps. 'Water accounting in most developing countries is very limited, and allocation procedures are non-existent, ad hoc or poorly developed,' the report said. 'Acquiring good water accounting practices (hydrological analysis of water resource availability and actual use) and developing robust and flexible water allocation systems will be a first priority [for adaptation].' Such data would help more accurate forecasting of droughts and floods. Although forecasting technologies are commercially available in some developed countries, their quality, as well as their communication and understanding among farmers, must improve if farmers are to better adapt to climate change and reap the benefits, the report says. Further information on EMWIS website.

28- The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved US$4.59 million in grants to improve water resource and agricultural management within, and across, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon and the Arab Water Council.  The Grants from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) will finance the hardware, software and technical assistance needed for the application of various remote sensing and Earth observation decision-support tools to address water resources and agricultural management. These tools will enhance the capacity of participating countries to monitor local and regional societal issues such as fires, drought, flooding, fresh water availability, evapotranspiration and crop yields. Capacity to study climate change impact on water resources based on long range climate scenarios will also be significantly enhanced.  Information on water has traditionally been collected through local measurements of major parameters such as rainfall, river flows and reservoir levels. Collecting field data however can be costly, sparse, unreliable and incomplete due to the difficulty of accessing certain terrains, expected human error and the cost and time of labor among other factors. The use of satellites and remote sensing tools offers a solution to these common problems and allows for the systematic, detailed and comprehensive collection of a vast array of parameters. With better data about water location and supply, countries can thus make more informed decisions about how to use the water they have, and how to manage the resource more sustainably. The project is the first under the recently launched Arab World Initiative—a World Bank Group partnership with the countries of the Arab world to foster effective cooperation and collaboration in the interest of economic integration and knowledge sharing.  Further information on EMWIS website.

29- Recognising the value of using Earth observation satellite data to support development activities, ESA and the World Bank will work together on several projects through the 'eoworld' joint initiative. ESA and the World Bank first started collaborating two years ago when ESA carried out small-scale pilot projects that demonstrated the potential of Earth observation for the Bank’s operations. Based on the pilots’ promising outcomes, Earth observation information will now be scaled up and incorporated into 12 World Bank activities in the marine environment, water resources management, urban development, urban and disaster risk management, and agriculture and forestry. World Bank teams defined the requirements for the geo-information that will be provided across operations in Africa, South and Latin AmericaSouth AsiaEast Asia and the Pacific. The Earth observation information products will be generated by specialist companies from across Europe and delivered to the Bank’s staff and local stakeholders by the end of 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

30- The International Hydropower Association (IHA) has adopted a Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, developed jointly by the hydropower industry and social and environmental NGOs, like Oxfam and The Nature Conservancy, among others. Participants at its biennial World Congress on Advancing Sustainable Hydropower on 14-17 June 2011,  also reflected on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment on renewable energy, which notes sustainability does not have a direct relationship with dam size, an issue of interest for financial institutions and the Clean Development Mechanism, which establish limits based on dam size. The meeting also presented a broad view of the sustainability challenges to hydropower development, and discussed the opportunities arising from the growing interest in green growth strategies within the international community, as well as from the growth of carbon market finance opportunities. It established the need to diversify power sources and consider renewables as 'complementary' rather than alternative sources of energy. Further information on EMWIS website.

31- Switzerland's Trunz Water Systems has developed a modular solar-power system which can supply energy as a stand-alone system or in combination with a Trunz water treatment or desalination plant. Trunz Solar Power Center is based on the latest developments in photovoltaic technology and incorporates high quality components which work under harshest climatic conditions (heat and high air humidity). Pre-assembled, it can be installed easily, allowing for a fast start up of operation for the whole system. The photovoltaic range incorporates 13 standard systems. With a direct solar radiation of five hours per day, the smallest system supplies 1.75 kWh, the largest 10.5kWh. Tailor-made systems can be produced at the customer's request to fit exactly the requirements for each location. The Solar Power Center is ideal for remote areas, to supply a house, a school, a hospital or a village. To date, over 500 solar systems are already operating in more than 30 countries. Further information on EMWIS website.

32- The World Justice Forum III was held from June 20 - 23, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Over 450 diverse leaders--from heads of state and Supreme Court justices, to medical doctors, school teachers, engineers, business owners and artists, among others--came together to develop projects to advance the rule of law across disciplines, and around the world. This action-oriented Forum builds on the success of the first and second World Justice Forums, as well as nine regional outreach meetings held across the globe. Among others, there was a session on the rule of law in the environment, and public health, as well as the rule of law in science and technology. Further information on WJP website.

33- The 1st “German-Arab Young Scientists Forum” was organized as an international information and cooperation initiative of the Junge Akademie and the Arab Academy of Young Scientists (Arab-WAYS). Young scientists from different Arabic countries and Arab scholars of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation took part in this meeting that took place in Berlin (Germany) last 16-19 June. The Forum shall be an academic platform for exchange, where next to general information and discussion about relevant questions and problems of academia in Germany and the Arabic world perspectives for joint research projects have been be discussed. Thus the aim of the forum is to internationalise the academic research in a sustainable way. Further information on EMWIS website.


34- Tom Soo nominated new IWRA Executive Director: The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) underwent significant changes since the 2010-2012 Executive Board started its mandate. The Executive Office moved to Montpellier in France in April 2010 under a new operational model with full time professional staff. Tom Soo is the new Executive Director since the move. Further information on EMWIS website.

35- Vacancy announcement: "Executive Secretary of the Sahara and Sahel Observatory". Applications must be received by the OSS Executive Secretariat in a sealed envelope marked “Do not open” no later than September 15th, 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

36- Wetlands International is seeking a Resource Development Manager.  The mission is to sustain and restore wetlands, their resources and biodiversity.  Deadline: 17th of July. Further information on EMWIS website.

37- IDRC's Graduate Research Awards on Climate Change and Water (CCW): Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development.  CCW’s Adaptation H2O Graduate Research Awards aim to build research capacity by providing funding to graduate students working on subjects related to climate change and water. Deadline for submitting applications: September 1, 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.


38- Spanish National Water Portal: HISPAGUA (CEDEX/EMWIS National Water Portal in Spain) launches a new design. Further information on EMWIS website.

39- Tools for Integrated Water: The website GEST'EAU gets a makeover. site has undergone a redesign, led by the National Water and aquatic environments (Onema) and the Ministry of Sustainable Development with the support of the International Office for Water (OIEAU). Further information on EMWIS website.

40- A new publication UNESCO biosphere reserves and climate change demonstrates through 28 good practice case studies that UNESCO biosphere reserves are ideal places to test, to evaluate and to implement comprehensive climate change policies.  Further information on EMWIS website.

41- IRC has published as OpenCourseWare, the programme, sessions plans and background reading materials for a two-day training workshop on corruption prevention in the water sector. IRC organised the workshop for ACRA (Associazione di Cooperazione Rurale in Africa e America Latina) from 6-7 April 2011, Milan, Italy. The focus of the workshop is on building stronger systems of transparency, integrity and accountability to prevent corruption. Further information on EMWIS website.

42- The Human Right to Water and Sanitation is still new and needs interpretation as well as implementation in order to come to life. This training material help to understand the what are human rights, what is specific to the Human Right to Water and Sanitation, and what should be done to create awarness and advocate for it. Further information on EMWIS website.

43- "Wetlands and Climate Change": This guest article considers the role of wetlands as carbon sinks to mitigate the effects of climate change.This report confirms the fact that mangroves, tidal marshes and sea-grass meadows remove carbon from the atmosphere and lock it into the soil, where it can remain for millennia. Unlike terrestrial forests, these marine ecosystems are continuously building carbon pools, storing large amounts of “blue carbon” in the sediment below them. When these systems are degraded due to drainage or converted for agriculture and aquaculture, they can release huge and continuous amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Further information on EMWIS website.

44- International Hydropower Association World Congress 2011 - Final Summary published. Further information on EMWIS website.

45- "Virtual Water Not a Solution": The implementation of virtual water into trading deals has been suggested as a solution to the global inequality of renewable freshwater, but it may not be as revolutionary as first thought. According to researchers writing in Environmental Research Letters, the existing amount of virtual water is not large enough to overcome the existing inequalities. This study assessed the inequality in water use between countries and examined how different uses such as industrial, household and for agricultural products consumed domestically contributed to the overall inequality. To do this, the authors compared United Nations statistics on both social and human development statuses with water usage statistics for a range of countries. Further information on EMWIS website.

46- Water Safety in Buildings- Publication: This document is written for the full range of “actors” who influence the overall safe management of building water supplies.  It is intended to be a useful resource for the development of training and information material. Further information on EMWIS website.

47- FAO Publication: "Climate Change, water and food security": This report summarizes current knowledge of the anticipated impacts of climate change on water availability for agriculture and examines the implications for local and national food security. Further information on EMWIS website.

48- Information materials on the human right to water and sanitation:  different information materials on the human right to water and sanitation have been produced for the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (20-22 June 2011). Further information on EMWIS website.

49- An international consortium composed by local authorities, universities and Tunisian, Moroccan and Italian NGOs, has just announced the launch of the TourMedEau portal (, under the TourMedEau project funded by the European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI) within the Programme Ciudad - Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue. The portal gives an opportunity to interact and share those information that could in turn be useful for the development, planning and implementation of local development initiatives, related to wastewater treatment and its possible reuse. Further information on EMWIS website.

50- Financing water services in small urban areas through local private operators.  To learn more about these "know-how" and the financing tools, GRET and AFD have met together professionals from different disciplines working in the field of drinking water. In August 2010, during the "ContrEAUverses," these professionals have exchanged from their field experience. This book  transcribed presentations and debates raised by this issue. Further information on EMWIS website.

51- Results of the study "Reuse of treated wastewater: operational perspectives - Recommendations for Action" Updated study carried out to  BRL and AFD. Further information on EMWIS website.

52- The course "Interactive tools for teaching the management of resources and territory" covers the use of interactivity in higher education, especially for the joint management of natural resources and territories. Further information on EMWIS website.

53- The International Hydropower Association (IHA) 2011 World Congress concluded last 22 June with the successful completion of the post-Congress tour to the Madeira river projects, Santo Antonio and Jirau, in northwest Brazil. The Concluding Recommendations of this congress are available. Further information on EMWIS website.

54- The WateReuse Research Foundation on 7 June 2011 announced five reports on the reclamation, recycling, reuse and desalination of water. Further information on EMWIS website.


55- ENPI-MED CBC: call for strategic projects launched: The Joint Management Authority launched the call for proposal on strategic projects for Cross-Boarder Cooperation in the Mediterranean on 5 May 2011.These Projects will involve a minimum of four partners representing four different countries, of which at least one EU Mediterranean Country and one Mediterranean Partner Country. Their budget range from a minimum of € 2 million up to a maximum of € 5 million. Budget announced for this call about € 62,4 million. Priority 1 (€ 37,44 million)/Agro-food industry/Sustainable tourism/Integrated coastal zone management. Priority 2 (€ 24,96 million)/Water management/Waste treatment and recycling/ Solar energy. The Terms of Reference of each topic and main rules are detailed in the text of the call and in the Guidelines for Applicants. The call for strategic projects is a two-stage procedure: 1. In a first instance Applicants shall submit a Concept Note; 2. Only the projects preselected following the evaluation of the Concept Notes will be invited to submit a Full Application Form. The deadline for sending the Concept Notes is set on 14th July 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

56- 9.1 million Euros call for strategic projects under CBC Italy-Tunisia: The EU-funded CBC Italy-Tunisia programme has officially launched a call for strategic projects for a budget of €9.1 million. This call will focus on two priorities: development and regional integration, and the promotion of sustainable development. Applicants should submit a Concept Note by 25 July 2011. Only projects shortlisted after evaluation of the Concept Notes will be invited to submit a full Application Form. Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) reinforces cooperation between regions of EU Member States and Partner Countries on EU's external borders. EU financing for the Italy-Tunisia CBC programme is of €25.1 million for the period 2007-2013. Further information on EMWIS website.

57- The 2011 LIFE+ Call for Proposals was published by the European Commission on 26 February 2010. The fifth LIFE+ call for proposals was published on 26 February 2011, with up to €267 million available for co-financing of projects under three headings: nature and biodiversity; environment policy and governance; and information and communication. Project proposals should be sent to the relevant national authority no later than 18 July, 2011. National authorities will then send them to the European Commission by 9 September, 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.


58- Call for papers Young Scientist Workshop, International Water Week, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 31 October - 4 November. The topic of the Workshop concerns the challenges of providing water systems in urbanizing areas, a cross-cutting topic covering water management, water supply, sanitation and spatial planning.  Further information on EMWIS website.

59- Call for abstracts for BALWOIS 2012: Firth International Conference BALWOIS 2012 on Water, Climate and Environment. The Fifth International Scientific Conference BALWOIS 2012 will be held in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia from 28th May to 2nd June 2012. The topics of 5th BALWOIS 2012 International Conference on which abstracts and papers are submitted are : Topic 1: Climate and Hydrology; Topic 2: Water, Environment and Human Activities; Topic 3: Water Related Risks; Topic 4: Integrated Water Resources Management; Topic 5: Eco-hydrology; Topic 6: Computing and Technologies in Water sector; Others. Deadline for submitting an abstract is: 31st of October 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

60- Call for papers for the Conference and Exhibition on "Desalination and the Environment": Clear water & energy. Water and energy are the issues of this millennium. This conference will take place in Barcelona (Spain) in 23-26 April 2012. Further information on EMWIS website.

61- Call for abstracts for the Second International Conference on "Groundwater Resources Management: Adaptation Measures to Water Scarcity" jointly organized by UNESCO and the University of Irvine, California (UCI), it will take place from 30 November to 3 December 2011 in Irvine, California, USA. Extended Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 September 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

62- The CGIAR Challenge Program for Water and Food (CPWF) seeks abstracts for attending the 3rd International Forum on Water and Food to be held in South Africa from November 14-17, 2011.  A specific focus will be given to the water and food development challenges posed in Africa and the role research-for-development could play in addressing these challenges. Last date for submitting the abstract is July 15, 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

63- Call for abstracts for TKWRM 2012: International Conference on Traditional Knowledge for Water Resources Management. Extended Abstract Submission: 30 July 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

64- WASH Media Awards 2011-2012- Call for paper: The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) welcome entries for the fourth edition of the WASH Media Awards. All entries must be received no later than 1st April 2012 together with a duly filled in entry form. Further information on EMWIS website.

65- Call for papers for ACWUA’s 4th Best Practices Conference, 7-8 December 2011 (Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt): The Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA) expect more than 300 participants and delegations to attend the 4th Best Practices Conference in Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt. Deadline for submitting abstracts: 30 August 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

66- Call for papers for TIAC’12 - IV International Conference on Technology Seawater Intrusion in Coastal Aquifers / III International Symposium on Coastal Aquifers and Desalination Plants: Deadline for receipt of summary: October 31, 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

67- Call for abstracts for the 2nd International Symposium on the Management and Preservation of Water Resources (CIGPRE 2) to be held in Meknes (Morocco) in the period [04/27/2012 to 04/29/2012]. The deadline for submissions is: 31 October 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.


68- Training courses in connection with world water week in Stockholm, August 2011: The global water crisis is a crisis of poor governance and management of water. Vital for good water governance is a well-trained group of people working in various sectors related to water management. In response to this need Cap-Net/UNDP and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) plan to offer training events in connection with the World Water Week (WWW) in Stockholm in August 2011. Further information on EMWIS website.

EVENTS (Full Agenda)

[21/08/2011 - 27/08/2011] 2011 World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden.
Further information on EMWIS website

[01/08/2011 - 05/08/2011] 2nd Annual International Law and Transboundary Freshwaters Workshop, Dundee, Scotland.
Further information on EMWIS website.

[18/07/2011] Training on Potable Water Treatment, London, United Kingdom.
Further information on  EMWIS website


[13/07/2011 - 14/07/2011] Drinking Water Quality Technology Summit, Chicago, USA.
Further information on EMWIS website


[07/07/2011 - 08/07/2011] Workshop:  Forests and water in drylands: a virtuous cycle, Geneva, Switzerland.
Further information on 
EMWIS website


[07/07/2011 - 08/07/2011] Forum-pour-la-cooperation-internationale-des-collectivites, Paris, France.
Further information on EMWIS website


[05/07/2011 - 06/07/2011] UN-SPIDER International expert meeting: Crowdsource mapping for preparedness and emergency response; Vienna, Austria.
ther information on EMWIS website


[05/07/2011]  6th World Water Forum conference at Singapore International Water Week, Singapore.
Further information on EMWIS website


[05/07/2011 - 08/07/2011] GI_Forum 2011, Salzburg, Austria.
Further information on EMWIS website


[04/07/2011 - 22/07/2011] UNESCO-IHE Regular Short Course: Watershed and River Basin Management, Delft, The Netherlands.
Further information on EMWIS website


[04/07/2011 - 05/07/2011] Workshop on equitable access to water and sanitation, Geneva, Switzerland.
Further information on EMWIS website


[04/07/2011 - 22/07/2011] UNESCO-IHE Training: Water Transport and Distribution II, Delft, The Netherlands.
information on EMWIS website

[04/07/2011 - 08/07/2011] 25th International Cartography Conference (ICC2011), Paris, France.
Further information on EMWIS website

[04/07/2011] Twin2Go at SIWW - "Adapting to climate change - policy insights and best practices for adaptive water governance, Singapore. 
Further information on EMWIS website


[01/07/2011] 12th Working Group European Cooperation with third countries in the water sector, Brussels, Belgium.
Further information on EMWIS website.

[30/06/2011 - 30/06/2011] Use of treated wastewater for irrigation, Paris, France.
Further information on EMWIS website.

[29/06/2011 - 01/07/2011] Cannes Water Symposium 2011, Cannes, France.
Further information on EMWIS website.

[29/06/2011 - 02/07/2011] VI International Symposium: Water Engineering and Management in a Changing Environment, Catania, Italy.
Further information on EMWIS website.

[29/06/2011 - 30/06/2011] CSFD Seminar-2011 on policy research programs and fight projects, Montpellier, France.
Further information on EMWIS website.

[29/06/2011 - 02/07/2011] EAERE 18th Annual Conference, Rome, Italy.
Further information on EMWIS website.

PROJECTS (Projects database)


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