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Near East and North Africa Managing water scarcity.

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Presentation on theme: "Near East and North Africa Managing water scarcity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Near East and North Africa Managing water scarcity

2 Overview Major water challenges in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region –The state of water is reaching crisis level. (What are the major indicators?) Key responses to address the water challenges –Major water policy reforms needed –Water-saving technologies in irrigated agriculture –Water-saving technologies in rainfed agriculture IFAD’s engagement in addressing water scarcity in NENA Key points for discussion

3 Major Water Challenges in the NENA Region

4 State of Water in the NENA Region NENA is the driest region in the world, with increasing drought frequency and severity. With 5% of the world’s population, the region is endowed with only 1% of the world’s accessible freshwater. Available surface water is limited and threatened by increasing soil erosion. Groundwater is being pumped in excess of natural recharge rates.


6 State of Water in the NENA Region Projected water availability is lower than in other water-scarce regions: Cubic metre/per capita/per year

7 State of Water in the NENA Region Freshwater availability is falling to crisis levels: Cubic metre/per capita/per year

8 State of Water in the NENA Region Stress related to water quality and quantity is severe: HIGHHIGH Algeria – Egypt Iraq – Lebanon Morocco – Syria Tunisia Jordan West Bank and Gaza Yemen LOWLOW Bahrain – Kuwait Oman – Qatar Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates LOWH I G H Water Quantity Severity Water Quality Severity

9 State of Water in the NENA Region Water Sector Uses

10 State of Water in the NENA Region Many people still lack access to safe water: Population with Water Coverage ('000) Total population without coverage: 22.6 million

11 State of Water in the NENA Region In irrigation, cost recovery is low: Irrigation Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Cost Recovery Ratio Ratios >1 indicate user repayment not only for O&M but also for capital and replacement costs.

12 Key Responses to Address the Water Challenges

13 Major Water Policy Reforms Needed 1.Adopt an integrated approach to water resource management in service delivery: – Consider water as a holistic resource with competing demands. – Promote service delivery on the basis of water users’ demand and their repayment capacity. – Support private and public water service providers that create economic incentives for sustainable water use.

14 Major Water Policy Reforms Needed 2.Raise water tariffs, without excluding targeted subsidies to the poorest. This is critical to: – promote savings of water use by increasing tariffs – set water charges to cover all water infrastructure maintenance costs – ensure financial sustainability of water service providers (irrigation and drinking) – save water for ecological reserve and environmental purposes

15 Major Water Policy Reforms Needed 3.Promote policy reforms to encourage farmers to shift to irrigated crops, which provide higher value per unit of water: – Priority should be given to crops requiring less water. – With globalization, the ‘virtual water’ concept becomes an important factor in agricultural trade. – In NENA, given scarcity of water, promotion of export crop production should not be based on foreign currency needs but driven by the implications for the sustainability of water resources.

16 Major Water Policy Reforms Needed 4.Adopt a sustainable groundwater use strategy: – An underground water control by-law should be issued and enforced to regulate the use of groundwater resources based on the following principles: * Underground water is owned and controlled by the State, and ownership of land does not include ownership of groundwater. * Extraction and use of underground water is authorized by a license to the landowner. * The 2002 Jordanian Underground Water Control By-Law is a good example.

17 Major Water Policy Reforms Needed 5.Decentralize water management responsibility: – The management of water distribution networks (except primary canals) should be decentralized and turned over to farmers. – Decentralization should include poor farmers as members of water users’ associations. – Changes in behavioural and social patterns need to be fostered to conserve water (public awareness).

18 Major Water Policy Reforms Needed 6.Promote cooperation for sustainable management of transboundary water resources: – Shared ground and surface water resources need to be jointly assessed and monitored (in terms of quantity and quality). – Concerted action plans should be adopted for sustainable use of shared water resources. – The ongoing experience of Algeria, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Tunisia (IFAD-supported programme implemented by the Sahara and Sahelian Observatory [SSO]) is a possible model.

19 Water-Saving Technologies in Irrigated Agriculture –Use treated waste water for irrigation (Jordan). –Increase adoption of new precision irrigation and drainage systems. –Promote low-cost water-harvesting technologies (Jordan, Tunisia). –Adopt conservation tillage and planting on raised beds to use irrigation water more efficiently. –Exploit available technologies for saline water use (recent International Center for Biosaline Agriculture [ICBA] results).

20 Water-Saving Technologies in Rainfed Agriculture –Improved small-scale and supplemental irrigation systems can increase productivity of rainfed agriculture. –More efficient crop sequencing and timely planting can achieve significant savings in water use. –New crop varieties, requiring less water, are being developed by research institutions, and some are already available.

21 IFAD’s Engagement in Addressing Water Scarcity in NENA Promoting sustainable water use and access to water by the rural poor is an IFAD regional strategic objective: –IFAD loans targeting small-scale irrigation, rainfed farming and rural potable water supply schemes are: promoting the latest available technologies for improving water-use efficiency involving the rural poor in water governance through grass-roots water users’ associations

22 IFAD’s Engagement in Addressing Water Scarcity in NENA –IFAD regional grants aim at generating and testing new approaches in the sustainable water management. Examples are: action research on participatory irrigation management programme (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies [CIHEAM]) use of brackish and saline water (Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Drylands [ACSAD] and ICBA) On farm water harvesting (ICARDA) facilitating of collaboration on transboundary water (SSO) capacity-building for management of water demand (International Development Research Centre [IDRC])

23 Key Points for Discussion What are the most critical policy measures needed to enhance water-use efficiency at the farm level? To what extent can water prices be increased to fully cover O&M costs? How can pro-poor and participatory water governance in irrigation and potable water supply be promoted in rural areas? How can cooperation be enhanced in managing transboundary water resources?

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