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MSSD: Insufficient steps taken towards better water management




MEDITERRANEAN. Plan Bleu regularly monitors and calculates indicators for the implementation of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development (MSSD). In May 2013, sustainable development policies in the Mediterranean were shown to have improved but remain below the joint objectives of the countries concerned. This is particularly true for issues concerning water use.



Water exploitation index map per river basin.
Water exploitation index map per river basin.
Efforts are being made almost everywhere, often with considerable improvements in more or less all territories but still seen as insufficient. Plan Bleu's nuanced assessment of the field results of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development has proved mixed.
 
Plan Bleu used 34 indicators to gauge the improvements. These are grouped into nine priority issues.
 
Five of these indicators concern water resources, their use and their efficiency. The population is increasing in the Mediterranean region while its natural resources are not.
 
In this way, the pressure on the renewable resource is often great, particularly in rural areas in the south. This is the case for countries that have large desert areas like Egypt, Libya and Israel.
 
The MSSD places emphasis on the need to reduce the volumes of water that are lost or wasted, which can be significant. Plan Bleu's report highlights the often weak irrigation efficiency in agriculture. In the south, a large quantity of the water needed is lost in water supply networks.

Access to water is more difficult in rural areas

It is often in rural areas where water access is difficult in the south, while water used in agriculture often leaks into nature (photo MN)
It is often in rural areas where water access is difficult in the south, while water used in agriculture often leaks into nature (photo MN)
The MSSD aims to reduce leaks in networks supplying water for irrigation and drinking water. Water disappears in more significant proportions in many Southern countries.
 
Moreover, it should be pointed out that in 1990, 23 million people in the Mediterranean lacked easy access to drinking water, often in rural areas. This dropped to 19 million in 2010.
 
These rural areas regularly lose their agricultural assets, too. In a demographic growth context in rural areas in the south, 60% of rural people in the Mediterranean were farmers in 1990 and 41% were in 2012.
 
The Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development ultimately relies on public research efforts. This represents less than 1% of GDP almost everywhere in the south and 2% in the EU.
 
As for EU aid destined for southern countries, this is half of the amount advocated by the MSSD, which, overall, does not help towards efficient water use.


plan_bleu_2013_10_idd_2013fr.pdf Plan Bleu 2013 10 idd_2013fr.pdf  (6.21 MB)



Michel Neumuller, MARSEILLE


Tuesday, October 22nd 2013



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