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.
The Cost Of Environmental Degradation (COED) is a measure of the lost welfare of a nation due to environmental degradation and includes, among others, the loss of healthy life and well-being of the population (e.g., burden of disease), economic losses (e.g., forgone revenues) loss of environmental opportunities (e.g., loss of tourism, fisheries, biodiversity), etc.
The main objective of the studies is to help decision makers at the national and local levels to identify and prioritize concrete actions to improve the management of these basins through the potential funding of projects that will reap environmental benefits and reduce externalities.
This, by providing them with the necessary tools to interact, on the basis of cost figures, with the relevant authorities, particularly with the Ministries of Finance, on the policies needed to reduce these costs.
Based on the findings of the studies several intervention areas are proposed for the integrated and sustainable management of water resources in these River Basins, including policy shifts, more efficient investments, additional emphasis on monitoring and assessment of the basins environment and natural resources.