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Euro-Med Participatory Water Resources Scenarios
Improving long-term access and rights to water for local populations
in Egypt, Jordan and West Bank/Gaza

Starting date: 2003/05/01 - Duration (months): 48


EMPOWERS is a four-year regional programme working in three countries, which reflect a range of water issues found in the MEDA region (European Union Members and other countries bordering the Mediterranean). In the MEDA region, Egypt has a relatively high per capita availability of water, with demand exceeding supply. Jordan and West Bank/Gaza are among the countries with the world's lowest per capita availability of water. In the West Bank and Gaza water scarcity is further compounded by Israel’s control over access to water. Common features are the lack of involvement of all stakeholders, the centralised nature of management, and the fragmentation of responsibilities among many players.

EMPOWERS works to encourage local water users and institutions to address issues of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in their local contexts in order to take better care of the region’s precious and scarce water resources. The emphasis is on dialogue between end-users and government officials and other stakeholders at district and governing levels. EMPOWERS also involves national level stakeholders with the aim of ensuring the relevance of local IWRM activities to national policy formulation processes.

Overall Goal

Improved long-term access to water for vulnerable populations through integrated water resource management at local level. Main EMPOWERS approaches are:

Increasing the influence of different stakeholders on the decision-making process in the use and management of often scarce water resources. This necessitates the involvement of all relevant segments of civil society in each country to ensure that at national and governing levels decision-making for IWRM will be better informed by local realities, leading to policy frameworks that support decision-making at lower levels. End-users will thus have a better chance to take ownership of, and assume accountability for, the management of local water resources. EMPOWERS will achieve this through action-research at the interface of national interest and local priorities.

Enhancing vertical and horizontal linkages and information flows. It is the conviction of EMPOWERS that the above-mentioned goal can only be reached when people and their organisations come and work together at different levels of influence and decision-making. A particular focus will be the development of practical water information management and planning instruments for the water sector. It will do this by supporting networks of different stakeholders from the community to the national policy level. Stakeholder Approaches are key to such a process.

Demonstrating through pilot projects. EMPOWERS will ground the above strategies through the design and development of innovative examples in selected pilot areas at the district and community level in the Governorates of Balqaa (Jordan), Beni Suef (Egypt) and Jenin (West Bank/Gaza).

Sharing of valuable information and knowledge at the regional level. In addition to the approaches applied at country level, EMPOWERS will play a part in regional networks focusing on wise use and management of local water resources in the Mediterranean Region. For this it will:

  • Develop education material for increased awareness on critical issues of water availability and efficient use at the local level.
  • Develop and maintain a website and data base on IWRM.
  • Build bridges to other organizations and donors to share knowledge and information and build capacities on sustainable management of water resources (through regional and international fora within and outside the MEDA framework).
  • Contribute to policy dialogue at national, regional and international levels through water partnerships and other networking programmes

Themes covered

  • Integrated management of local drinking water supply, sanitation and sewage
  • Local water resources and water demand management (quantity and quality) within catchment areas and islands
  • Prevention and mitigation of the negative effects of drought and equitable management of water scarcity
  • Irrigation water management
  • Use of non-conventional water resources
  • Preparation of national and local scenarios for the period until 2025 that enable precise objectives to be set and actions to be taken for sustainable water management


Partners Countries Contacts
CARE Nederland, Den Haag
Regional Project Co-ordinator EMPOWERS
PS Peter Laban
CARE UK (Formal Project Holder to EC), London
Project Officer EMPOWERS - Web
UK Marwa El-Ansary
Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), Amman
Regional Information Officer EMPOWERS - Web
JO Mona Barghout
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, Delft - Web NL Patrick Moriarty
Development Research and Technological Planning Centre (DRTPC) at Cairo University EG Kamal El-Deen Soliman
Social Planning, Analysis and Administration Consultants (SPAAC), Cairo EG Sara Loza
CARE Egypt, Cairo
Country Co-ordinator EMPOWERS
EG Hazem Fahmy
Planning Unit of Ministry of Agriculture, Amman - Web JO Mufleh Alaween
CARE Jordan, Amman
Country Co-ordinator EMPOWERS
JO Fadi Shraideh
Palestine Hydrological Group (PHG), Ramallah - Web PS Ayman Rabi
Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) PS Omar Tabakhna
CARE West Bank/Gaza
Country Co-ordinator EMPOWERS
PS Sameera Rifai
For all issues concerning EMPOWERS, please contact the Regional Information Officer, Mona Barghout.

EMPOWERS is funded by the EU, IRC, PSO and CARE International.

URL EMPOWERS project in EMWIS projects database
URL First issue of 'Empowers Insight'
PDF Presentation on MedaWater, Brussels 2004 Download
URL Regional Workshop on Participatory Integrated Water Resources Management
URL Regional symposium, Cairo 2005
5th Mediterranean Water Forum