Plan Bleu has just published a methodological guide on water demand management, the drafting of which was entrusted to your research office. What are the key aims of this pamphlet?
The decision-making guide that has just been published by Plan Bleu for the Mediterranean is based on case studies and is designed as a practical means to help decision-makers in local communities.
It lists 124 measures from which authorities can select those that appear to be the most feasible and desirable for them depending on their issues. This guide sheds light on their deliberations. It proposes a methodology that allows local decision-makers to make their choices and prioritise them accordingly.
The cost-benefit analysis carried out on each of these potential measures allows stakeholders to prioritise them according to their social as well as environmental impact.
Does this guide constitute a symbolic step towards moving from one supply policy to another based on demand management?
Yes, it results from Plan Bleu's long-term efforts in relation to water use in the Mediterranean on this issue.
We have found that water supply policies are being complimented by demand policies more and more.
WDM is progressing notably and we have established this through our work in the Sfax region in western Tunisia which is a textbook case. We believe it is necessary to support this trend by facilitating stakeholders' decision-making.
SMDD évaluation par thème.pdf
What method is proposed in this guide?
It sets out a list of WDM measures so that all the possible options may be identified. The first step is to define a water management policy and organise this with diverse stakeholders.
Along with a water policy service and arbitration bodies, we are seeing the emergence of irrigator associations, river contracts and groundwater management as well as participatory institutions like local water boards in Mediterranean countries.
A legislative arsenal ensures better safeguarding of fossil fuels, the monitoring of drilling and even the regulation of agricultural production.
The latter consumes large quantities of water. You seem to be saying that this is a key issue.
Yes, not enough is said about the fact that agriculture in the Mediterranean, particularly in the South, accounts for between 60% and 80% of water use.
This means it is a crucial activity for sustainable development and a lever for all demand management policies.
Based on a series of works, Plan Bleu estimates that wastewater reuse could cover 30% of agricultural water needs in southern Mediterranean countries.
But they must still be able to treat the water. Much is at stake, especially on a social level when you take into account the large number of jobs, real and potential, that agriculture represents in this region.