The SWIM Launching Workshop was organized on 7-8 December 2011 in Brussels with the aim to ensure that activities planned
under the two Components of the Programme – the SWIM-Support Mechanism and the Demonstration Projects - bring an added
value for addressing pressing water challenges in the Mediterranean by filling urgent policy gaps, particularly in an era of reforms in the Region.
Among the most crucial water challenges are the limited access to drinking water - the Mediterranean is home to 60% of the world’s ‘water poor’ and today approximately 20 million people have no access to drinking water, particularly in the rural and peri-urban areas of countries in the South and East of the region - the high exploitation of renewable and non-renewable fresh water resources, serious water pollution and depletion of surface and ground water bodies. Climate change impacts could make the above mentioned challenges even more pressing and render water resources more fragile.
In his opening remarks Mr. Marcus Cornaro, the Director of Neighbouhood at DG Development and Cooperation – European Commission, stressed on the urgency of tackling the fragmentation of approaches in water resources management in the Mediterranean Region by adopting an integrated vision, promoting equity and transparency and by reinforcing capacities of
relevant stakeholders and know-how transfer. He also mentioned that SWIM – Support Mechanism and Demonstration Projects
represent an opportunity to enhance on-going efforts in this direction.
The Workshop involved a set of consultations with National water and environment authorities of six (6) southern Mediterranean countries representing the SWIM Partner Countries, relevant EC Services and Regional stakeholder organizations, institutions and water programmes during which valuable feedback was gathered and possible synergies with on-going regional initiatives were explored.
Activities for the 1st year of SWIM-Support Mechanism’s implementation (until September 2012) fall under four main thematic
1- Non-conventional water resources (including wastewater treatment and reuse and desalination) with emphasis on rural areas;
2- Economic valuation of the costs to remediate water degradation;
3- No-regret actions for the adaptation of the water sector to climate change and;
4- Local water governance, with emphasis on the experiences of Water Users Associations
They imply a broad set of more than 30 interventions in the Mediterranean, including technical assistance, capacity building, transfer of know-how, documentation and dissemination of best practices, communication and awareness raising activities.
Read more about the four SWIM-SM thematic pillars
Five Demonstration Projects, approved by the EC under the 2nd Component of SWIM, will address the following priorities by adopting a regional or sub-regional approach: Water Governance, Water and Climate Change, Water Demand Management and Efficiency, including non-conventional water resources.
They are the following:
1- Adaptation to Climate Change of the Mediterranean Agricultural Systems (ACLIMAS)
Leader of the Project’s Consortium: International Center for Advanced Studies on Mediterranean Agriculture – Mediterranean
Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM-MAIB), Italy
2- All Across the Jordan: the Trans-boundary Master Planning of the Lower Jordan River Basin
Leader of the Project’s Consortium: Friends of the Earth Middle East
3- Innovative Means to Protect Water Resources in the Mediterranean Coastal Areas through Re-injection of Treated
Leader of the Project’s Consortium: Italian Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea
4- Sustain Water MED: Network of demonstration activities for sustainable integrated wastewater treatment and reuse in
Leader of the Project’s Consortium: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit ( German International Cooperation - GIZ) GmbH
5- Water harvesting and Agricultural techniques in Dry lands: an Integrated and Sustainable model in MAghreb Regions
Leader of the Project’s Consortium: University of Sassari, Italy
Read more about the five SWIM Demonstration Projects