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Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform taking shape




Certified by the Union for the Mediterranean since 2014, and recognized as an innovative solution by Medcop 21 and 22, the Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform calls for an increase in the number of national water information systems and the drawing up of a white paper on the Mediterranean.



Photo CC-Hiking in Jordan
Photo CC-Hiking in Jordan
The Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform provides Mediterranean states with decision-making tools that that take into account water resources at the pan-Mediterranean level. The project has a budget of almost €10M and comprises two complementary sub-projects, the establishment of national information systems and the drawing up of a Mediterranean white paper on water.
 
The Platform's information systems component is being coordinated by the International Office for Water, which is providing assistance to Southern Mediterranean countries in setting up their NWISs (National Water Information Systems). "We are helping them set up databases on water issues that integrate comparable elements," points out Eric Mino, technical unit director at the EMWIS (Euro-Mediterranean Information System on Know-How in the Water Sector). "These databases already exist, but are disseminated among different institutions. The NWISs should enable this information to be shared between a country's various institutions through an intranet." Outside organizations, and perhaps even the general public, will also have access to the data.
 
After three years' work, Tunisia's NWIS will begin operating beginning 2017. Those in Jordan and Morocco should follow in the ensuing months. Lebanon is still work in progress and other countries are expected to come on board.
 
The platform will also provide material for the future white paper on Mediterranean water resources, an authoritative document detailing available resources, environmental needs and water usage. This planning tool, drawn up under the stewardship of the Mediterranean Water Institute and the EMWIS, draws on work already carried out by the MNBO (Mediterranean Network of Basin Organizations) in Spain.
 
The document will highlight the main water indicators in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia. "We intend drawing up a status report for each country," says Eric Mino. This first phase will be completed in 2017. Eventually, the white paper will suggest action programmes that allow for climate change. States and international financiers will consider the priorities set out in the white paper when planning investment or granting loans.
 
In addition to the EMWIS, MWI, MNBO and IOW, the Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform brings together the League of Arab States' Centre of Water Studies and Arab Water Security (COFWS), Plan Bleu (regional UNEP/MAP activity centre), the Institut Euro-Méditerranéen de l’Eau (F-IEA) and the Agbar Foundation.


Gérard Tur


Thursday, September 29th 2016



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