NEWS FLASH #2 - March 2013
THE SWIM PROGRAMME
Sustainable Water Integrated Management (SWIM) aims to contribute to the extensive dissemination and effective implementation of sustainable water management policies and practices in the Southern Mediterranean Region in the context of increasing water scarcity, combined pressures on water resources from a wide range of users, desertification processes and in connection with climate change.
SWIM Partner Countries are: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory, Syria and Tunisia.
SWIM consists of two major Components, which are inter-related and complement each other:
- A Support Mechanism
- Five Demonstration Projects
PROVIDING AD HOC SUPPORT AND ADVICE FOR THE REVIEW OF WATER POLICIES, NATIONAL WATER STRATEGIES AND IWRM PLANS
Regional Review of National Water Plans and/or Strategies
Understanding the status of IWRM planning, particularly in the wake of the political changes in the region, is the purpose of the analysis undertaken by SWIM-SM. A desk study covers all the PCs and is followed by an in depth review, including the conduct of missions, in three countries, namely Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia.
ENSURING THE MAINSTREAMING OF SUSTAINABLE WATER MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES INTO OTHER SECTOR'POLICIES
Country studies and Consultation workshops on the cost of the environmental degradation (COED) and remediation of Oum Er-Rbia (Morocco) and Mejerda River Basins (Tunisia)
Two studies to evaluate the cost of degradation of water resources at the level of the Oum Er-Rbia (Morocco) and Mejerda River Basins (Tunisian side of the Basin) have been recently concluded and their findings have been discussed during two National consultations organized on 4 and 7 December 2012, respectively in Rabat and Tunis, with the participation of relevant stakeholders from the concerned National and local authorities, academia and research centers, donor agencies, NGOs, etc.
Guideline for mainstreaming climate change adaptation options in IWRM Plans
A study carried out in the framework of SWIM-SM is intended to provide guidance to stakeholders at the national level on how to review their water plans and integrate no-regret actions in order to facilitate their adaptation to potential climate change conditions. The study identifies the level of integration of adaptation actions in their plans and proposes some major steps to mainstream adaptation measures into these plans, with focus on no-regret actions.
SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAMMES AND TRAINING SESSIONS
Sub-regional workshop on the inter-linkages between IWRM and ICZM (30 October – 1 November 2012, Algiers – Algeria)
A training workshop in integrated management of natural resources with a focus on water and coastal resources was organized by SWIM-SM jointly with H2020 CB/MEP.
24 participants from Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia attended the workshop. They represented ministries dealing with water, environment, agriculture, interior issues, land use planning, integrated coastal zone management, etc. Research centers, basin agencies, and the Algerian National Federation for the Protection of the Environment (an NGO) were also amongst the trainees.
The training focused on the concepts, planning principles and tools of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and how these two concepts are interlinked.
Regional Training Workshop on the identification and development of climate change no regret actions in the water sector (3-5 October 2012 in Amman, Jordan) and media information event.
A training workshop was organized to contribute developing the capacity of PCs to undertake immediate precautionary measures towards the adaptation of the water sector to climate change.
Participants in the workshop, included government officials, water resources practitioners, environmentalists, planners and other stakeholders from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
Journalists from the same countries have been invited to the workshop and to a media information event organized back-to-back, with the aim to know more about how their country could prepare to face the possible challenges of climate change on their water resources and to possibly contribute to this by informing the public through their media.
Training Government Officials on the Preparation of Water Plans (10-11 September 2012 Athens-Greece)
As part of its assistance to the Partner Countries (PCs) towards developing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plans and strategies SWIM-SM organized on 10-11 September 2012 a training involving 23 participants from 8 SWIM PCs, mainly middle level government managers from the water, wastewater, environment and agriculture sectors. The trainingwas organized in synergy with Horizon 2020 Capacity Building/Mediterranean Environment Programme (H2020 CB/MEP).
ENHANCING THE APPLICATION OF WATER MANAGEMENT PLANS
Study on the Economic Considerations for Supplying Water through Desalination in South Mediterranean Countries
Global figures point out that desalination is one of the most expensive water supply options. Some countries, however, have no other alternative. They have actually exhausted all possibilities but still suffer of a water supply gap. For others, it is crucial to determine the feasibility of desalination and compare it to other options before taking the final decision. Feasibility studies of desalination plants should take into consideration costs related to the environmental degradation due to carbon emissions and brine discharge. Economics and financials vary considerably between countries and consequently feasibilities of desalination plants. Since variability precludes a decision on feasibility of desalination, this study aims to serve as a decision support tool to help decision makers draw conclusions on economic feasibility of desalination.
Assessment of Best Available Technologies (BAT) for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Rural/Local Areas in South Mediterranean Countries
Rural areas are characterized by high poverty levels and lack of resident skilled labor. The main barriers are financing and available skills for the operation and management of the treatment plant. Consequently, the choice of technology and treatment process is crucial to the success of the sewage treatment and reuse project.
The Assessment of Best Available Techniques (BAT) for Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in Rural Areas aims at responding to the need for appropriate technology choices based on selection criteria cross-matching the characteristics of rural areas with the specifications of treatment technologies
Assessment of Best Available Technologies for Desalination in Rural Areas
An assessment of Best Available Technologies for Desalination in Rural areas was undertaken with the aim to serve as a tool for decision makers for selecting the most suited technologies that fit their rural settings.
The report describes the latest technologies with an emphasis on small-scale innovation relevant to rural areas, it goes further to describe renewable energy resources (RES) that are appropriate for use in the PCs in combination with desalination technologies (sections 2.2 and 2.3) and finally details technical and non-technical criteria for a successful project.
COORDINATING WITH OTHER REGIONAL INITIATIVES AND PROJECTS
Aiming at coordinating effectively with other relevant actors, initiatives and projects with a view of promoting synergies and bringing added value to on-going efforts towards sustainable water integrated management in the South Mediterranean Region, a set of initiatives were undertaken by SWIM-SM.
These included the preparation of two databases - one for centres and organizations that provide training and capacity building activities relevant to the themes tackled by the project and another for on-going projects and initiatives - and the participation in events of regional importance, such as the Rio + 20 Summit (20-22 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro – Brazil) and the Stockholm World Water Week (August 26-31, Stockholm – Sweden). In both events SWIM-SM was represented by GWP-Med, that serves as the project’s technical director.
2nd SWIM Steering Committee and Coordination Meetings
The SWIM-SM Team presented to Partner Countries (PCs) the progress achieved during its 1styear of implementation and gathered their advice on activities planned ahead during the 2nd SWIM Steering Committee meeting that took place in Brussels on 17‐18 October 2012.
Participants in the meeting were representatives of the Ministries responsible for Water and Environment from eight (8) PCs, namely Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Moroccoand Tunisia, serving respectively as the SWIM‐SM Focal Points and Environmental Liaison Officers, andmembers of the Steering Committee, the advisory body of the project. The Libyan representative to the EC attended to represent the country as a new member joining the SWIM project. Relevant EC Services and Regionalstakeholder organizations, institutions and water programmes also participated in the meeting in order tofacilitate interlinks between the project and their activities and avoid duplications.
Advancement in the implementation of the 5 SWIM‐Demonstration projects was also presented in this occasion.
Additional opportunities for mutual strengthening and increased impacts of the Support Mechanism and the five Demonstration Projects were identified during the 2nd SWIM Coordination Meeting organized on 16 October 2012 in advance of the 2nd Steering Committee Meeting.
Guidelines to strengthen the implementation of National Water Plans at the local level, with emphasis on financial sustainability
SWIM-SM is developing a guidelines’ manual to better identify the potential of private sector participation (PSP) in Water Services’ Delivery at the local level (i.e. municipal, governorate, provincial or district, rural areas) with special focus on financial sustainability. The manual is intended to address policy and decision makers in the water sector at the national and local levels in partner countries, notably those which are currently in the process of decentralizing hydro-administrative authority towards local governments, and/or have initiated the process towards corporatization of water services. The guidelines’ manual shall cater for the social specificities and political sensitivities associated with PSP in countries of the region.
Documentation of Best Practices in non-revenue water (NRW) management in Algeria, Israel, Jordan and Morocco
The objective of this study is to identify, compile, classify and disseminate Best Practices for exchanging knowledge and experience among PCs in reducing NRW with the view of promoting the replication of these practices. Three (3) exemplary Best Practices per country are being collected, showcasing how water utilities managed to reduce NRW and including the following topics: monitoring, detecting and repairing leakages or illegal tapping, promoting compliance and enforcing laws and regulations, optimizing performance using engineering techniques, raising awareness of the users on the above issues.
Documentation of Successful interventions in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco with regard to increased efficiency and effectiveness of treated wastewater reuse in Agriculture and Groundwater Recharge in Rural Areas
Exemplary best practices (BPs) that offer learning opportunities for other countries within the region are being identified, selected and compiled. Different aspects are covered, such as institutional and legal frameworks, technical feasibility, involvement of the private sector, awareness raising etc., through several examples. The variability of the best practices is highly dependent on the actual experience and stage of advancement of the country itself in the issue of wastewater treatment and reuse.
Review and Analysis of the Status of Implementation of Wastewater Strategies and/or Action Plans in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia
A review is been currently undertaken for each of the PCs Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia with the aim to assess the status of development and implementation ofwastewater strategies, plan of actions and associated policies and suggest recommendations including on policyoptions to enhance the development and integration of wastewater national strategies into national water plans.
The reviews will be validated and discussed with relevant stakeholders in the framework of National consultations that are planned to take place in the coming weeks.
NEWS FROM THE SWIM DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS
SWIM-ACLIMAS project News - Adaptation to Climate Change of the Mediterranean Agricultural Systems
The project has developed a set of products that will be used during the implementation of demonstration and training activities. These include a software for the estimation of several parameters (evapotranspiration, yeld, water productivity, irrigation costs, etc), a Protocol for Wheat Phenology Measurements and a Farmers sheet for monitoring on-ground implementation.
Moreover, the 1st ACLIMAS Annual Meeting was organized on 12-13 December 2012 in Amman, Jordan, with the participation of more than 25 experts, and the representatives of SWIM-SM, the EU Delegation to Jordan and SWIM Sustain Water MED Demonstration Project. During the meeting the project’s progress and planned activities were presented and discussed including the shift of activities from Syria to Algeria.
SWIM-All Across the Jordan project News - Trans-boundary NGO Master Planning of the Lower Jordan River Basin
The development of a NGO master plan for the Lower Jordan River Valley is advancing: WEDO/ FoEME successfully completed an international tender process with the contracting of Royal Haskoning DHV (RHDHV) that will lead a consortium of experts from wide ranging fieldsto maximize the adoption of a uniform methodology and facilitate integration at all levels and stages of the master plan.
Moreover, in 2012 the project has successfully completed a set of core activities.
SWIM IMPROWARE News - Innovative Means to Protect Water Resources in the Mediterranean Coastal Areas through Re-injection of Treated Water
The project kick-off meeting took place on 21 February 2013 in Rome, Italy, with the active participation of all project’s partners.
Despite the late official start of SWIM-IMPROWARE, due to modifications in the contract both at the level of the composition of Consortium’s partners and of the activities to be implemented in Egypt, including their location, the project is now advancing with the site investigations, and the exchange of experiences between the European side and the two beneficiary countries, Egypt and Tunisia. Moreover, two missions have been carried out to progress with the Pilot project in the two Waste Water Treatment plants of Nubariya – Wadi Al Nutrun in Egypt, and of Korba, in Tunisia.
SWIM Sustain Water MED News - Network of Demonstration Activities for Sustainable Integrated Wastewater Treatment and Reuse in the Mediterranean
SWIM- Sustain Water MED advanced with the baseline assessment of pilot activities to be implemented in the four partner countries, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia and developed and applied a pilot activities’ guide taking into consideration social and environmental impact aspects.
Moreover, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Jordanian police security directorate (PSD) in relation to the pilot activity that is going to be established at the campus of the PSD in the Mgableen area near Amman. The pilot plant is going to serve this campus with daily 260 CM treated wastewater to be reused for irrigation purposes.
Additional activities were successfully implemented until the end of 2012.
SWIM- WADIS-MAR News - Water harvesting and Agricultural techniques in Dry lands: an Integrated and Sustainable model in MAghreb Regions
The project organised its launching meeting in Algeria, one of the two beneficiary countries of WADIS-MAR activities, in October 2012. The event served to inform a wide range of stakeholders about the project and its planned activities towards the promotion of integrated water harvesting and artificial aquifer recharge techniques in the watersheds of Oued Biskra (Algeria) and Oum Zessar (Tunisia). The launching event in Algeria involved the participation of more than 70 guests, including not only representatives of the partner organisations but also of local and national institutions, agencies and universities involved in integrated water management in the country. A three-day technical meeting was organised as a side event, and it involved all partners and national agencies that might play a synergic role within the project.
WADIS-MAR implemented successfully a set of additional activities.