The Regional Workshop on Water Resources and Demand Management in a Changing Climate started on March 28, 2017, in Djerba, Tunisia, and will run until March 30.
The regional workshop provides an opportunity for the project team, participants and beneficiaries to take stock of all the activities performed so far, and to contribute with essential inputs to the progress and finalisation of a number of key project deliverables. It also represents the culmination of a series of smaller-scale workshops and trainings dedicated to Action 1.1 – Water Demand Management and to Action 3 Water Resources Management In A Changing Climate that have taken place within the frame of the WATER POrT project component of WATER SUM since the beginning of 2016. The regional workshop also provides the chance to strengthen dialogue and cooperation as set forth in Action 2 of WATER POrT.
Over 70 participants from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia will work together over the three days to address challenges and to propose solutions that cut across integrated water resources management (IMWR), water demand management, and climate change. The participants will juggle between plenary sessions and topic-based sessions. They will learn from experiences from other countries and exchange knowledge and lessons learned. A site visit to the desalination facilities located on the Djerba Island on the second day of the workshop will demonstrate how an increasingly water-scarce region of Tunisia, hardened by the effects of climate change, has started switching to alternative sources of water, including brackish, seawater and groundwater desalination.
Mr Ali Bouaiycha, Director General of the Mednine Regional Agricultural Development Commission, a body of the Ministry for Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia, opened the regional workshop on behalf of the host country. Mr Bouaiycha thanked the Government of Sweden for supporting the MENA region through the WATER SUM Project as well as the Regional Environmental Center (REC) for the sound and professional implementation of the project. He underlined the importance of partnership, water diplomacy and inclusive participation across MENA and with other regions for facing challenges linked to water scarcity and a changing climate, as well as to paving the way for a water-sustainable future.
The outcomes of the regional workshop will be further developed and integrated within the foreseen final deliverables of the WATER POrT project component, as well as of the overarching WATER SUM project. These will be presented during the WATER SUM project final conference, which is planned for May 2017, in Amman, Jordan.