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HTML Document EMWIS Flash N°115 - December 2013/ January 2014

Released 09/01/2014

EMWIS Flash - December 2013 / January 2014
Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water Sector
EMWIS is a program of the Union for the Mediterranean.
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Monthly Flash produced by the EMWIS Technical Unit-
Mediterranean Water Information Mechanism / Geo-Catalogue / UfM-Water / AquaForMED

*** EMWIS Technical Unit wishes you a Happy New Year 2014 ***

In this issue N°115 (
1- Mediterranean Network of Water Training Centres (AQUA ForMED) launched in Paris
2- WEAM4i project kick-off meeting: Water & Energy Advanced Management for Irrigation
3- WATERDISS2.0 Final Workshop: Writing better research dissemination strategies across Europe
4- Managing waste in islands: MED-3R project to highlight good practices during technical visit to Porquerolles
5- CNES Workshop: Contribution of Earth Observation to solve water challenges
6- The New European Neighbourhood Instrument approved by European Parliament
7- 7th World Water Forum releases its Thematic Framework
8- Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA): Algeria Declaration
9- France: The future WWTP of the Mediterranean town of Cagnes
10- Tunisia: EIB provides €90 million to support sustainable development
11- Tunisian-French partnership agreement to develop irrigation management signed
12- Jordan : Experts call for strategy to address water scarcity and land degradation
13- Jordan: Climate Smart Villages
14- Israel, Jordan, Palestine sign historic Red Sea-Dead Sea canal deal
15- Lebanon: Countries like Jordan treat 100% of wastewater, what about Lebanon?
16- Lebanon: Water is more dangerous than electricity
17- Water More Important than Oil for the Future of the Arab World
18- UNIDO, Business Assurance Group DNV GL to Develop Water Footprint Measurement
19- UNECE, University of Geneva Conference Showcases Public Participation in Freshwater Resources
20- MICROAQUA project: Designing new ways to protect water quality
21- Earth Observation satellite Proba-V: ready for operations
22- European Commission: Proposal to reduce plastic bag consumption
23- Launch of the 1st Mobile Application on Waste Management in Tunisia
* EC Natural Water Retention Measures project: invitation to join regional network



1- The Mediterranean Network of Water Training Centres (AQUA ForMED) was launched in Paris last November 19th, 2013, and its web portal was officially launched: The Mediterranean Network of Water Training Centers named Aqua ForMed ©, is the culmination of many efforts on both sides of the Mediterranean to work permanently on the development of vocational training in response to the needs of water and sanitation services for local authorities and administrations to ultimately ensure the continuous improvement of their performance and user satisfaction. This website is the instrument by which the members of this network have the ambition: To make known and promote their collective offering of training services; to be attentive to the needs, including emerging ones of water and sanitation services and administrations in charge of the sector working in the Mediterranean; as well to conduct a joint reflection on the expected developments and the necessary guidelines for the medium term; and also to develop tools, including shared analysis and to expand the network beyond members and founding members with the aim of enriching each other's experiences. Further information on EMWIS website.
IN BRIEF (Full news)

2- Last 3-4 December 2013, Meteosim & Adasa Sistemas organized in Barcelona the kick-off meeting of the FP7 water innovation demonstration project: WEAM4i ‘Water & Energy Advanced Management for Irrigation’. The project consortium involves 17 partners who will work together for 42 months. EMWIS/SEMIDE (France) is in charge of the dissemination activities of this project.  With a total budget around 7.6 M€ and an EC co-funding of  5,1 MEuros the WEAM4i project is responding to the FP7 challenge 6.3: "Improving resource efficiency".  Agriculture sector is accountable for 30% of the total water consumption in Europe, but reaches up to 70% of total water consumption in several European southern countries. In recent years, most of the efforts have been focused on water efficiency, without taking care of energy aspects, resulting in some cases on a significant increase in energy consumption, both per irrigated surface and per volume unit of water. The WEAM4i project will mainly address 2 of the priorities of the EU Innovation Programme on Water: “Water-Energy nexus” and “Decision support systems (DSS) and monitoring”. Techniques for resource efficiency at local level will be demonstrated on the irrigation systems aforementioned: for saving water, for improving the m3/kwh ratio and for the minimization of the operational cost of water supply infrastructures. Full-scale demonstration activities will be performed in 3 EU countries (PT, ES and DE), covering a wide range of landscapes and crop types, from southern to central EU. Companies and SMEs will benefit from the future commercialization of the outcomes while the users will reduce the operational costs of their irrigation systems. To Sum up: once important water savings have been achieved, the new challenge for the irrigation sector is to minimize the energy costs. The WEAM4i project aims to provide innovative solutions for this challenge.  Further information on EMWIS website

3- WATERDISS2.0 project organized its final Workshop: "Writing better research dissemination strategies - Exchanging ideas, tools and methods across Europe" last December 2-3rd, 2013 in Barcelona. Sharing of research outcomes amongst researchers and potential users of the findings is a slow process in the water sector. At a time when water resources are under unprecedented pressure from climate change, demand is rising and environmental legislation is tightening, apply research findings is needed urgently. However, research outputs have typically taken a decade or more before becoming incorporated into new policies, products or services. Knowledge is often missing to build programmes of measures that will generate impacts on the implementation of the WFD, for example. Research projects often need support to ensure that their outputs are available to and can be used by potential users at the right time. For the last three years, the WaterDiss2.0 Project partners have been working with a considerable number of recipients of EU Framework Programme funding to identify strategies for more effective and speedier transfer of research results to intended users. This final workshop enabled participants to find out more about the accomplished work, and both research teams and potential end-users of commissioned research had an opportunity to benefit. The workshop was organised by the International Office of Water and Amphos 21 (host organisation), with support from other partners and participation of many regional organisations such as EMWIS/SEMIDE. A main outcome of the final WaterDiss2.0 workshop was an agreed statement from participants, addressed to the Commission. The statement contains a set of four key recommendations, which are concerned with the needs of stakeholders and the potential actions by the Commission to improve dissemination of research findings in the water sector and elsewhere. Further information on EMWIS website.

4- Waste management on small Mediterranean islands  is characterized by several specific challenges: reduced amount of waste to be treated, seasonal variation of quantities mainly due to tourism, limited availability of land area for waste disposal, potential long distance between the waste generation source and the treatment facilities, high costs for creating local recycling centres. The unique features of waste management on islands oblige responsible bodies to define adequate plans which are able to guarantee that waste is processed sustainably from an environmental and economic point of view. During a technical visit that took place on 10th and 11th December, the municipality of Hyères-les-Palmiers (France) – partner of MED-3R strategic project (ENPI CBC-Med programme) – presented the solutions adopted in Porquerolles to address the challenge of waste management on small islands. Project partners and experts of the sector participated in this two-day event which was marked by workshops and visit to pilot sites. In response to the threats posed by the increase in waste production to the environment and public health, MED-3R ("Euro-Mediterranean strategic platform for a suitable waste management") aims to reinforce the management capacities of local authorities from France, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia with regards to waste collection, disposal and valorization. EMWIS/SEMIDE is the coordinator of the pilot sites of MED-3R project. Further information on EMWIS website.

5- The workshop "Contribution of Earth Observation to solve water challenges" organized by the French National Centre for Spatial research (CNES) on 26 and 27 September in Toulouse (France) was a great success. To initiate the downstream Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) program, CNES has launched in 2012 a study entitled "Inventory of the state of the art of space applications and services for water management". For this study, many experts , institutional and companies of the field (among them EMWIS/SEMIDE), covering different water issues (governance , drinking water, ecosystems ... ) were mobilized to highlight their needs and expectations , as well as current spatial technologies in this field. The results of this survey were presented and discussed during the workshop in Toulouse. This workshop was twofold : 1) Return and share the results of this study with all stakeholders , 2) Provide a space for exchange on this topic. EMWIS/SEMIDE participated in this workshop to share its experience with water authorities in the MED countries and the use of remote sensing data, among another its collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA). The synthesis and the results of this workshop are now published. Further information on EMWIS website.

6- The European Parliament has approved the new European Neighbourhood Instrument with more than €15 billion for 2014-2020. Building on the achievements of the current European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), the ENI will support strengthening of relations with Neighbourhood countries and bring tangible benefits to both the EU and its partners. It will provide support through bilateral, multi-country and Cross Border Co-operation (CBC) programmes. In line with the renewed Neighbourhood Policy launched in 2011, ENI support will mainly focus on: • Promoting human rights and the rule of law; establishing deep and sustainable democracy and developing a thriving civil society; • Sustainable and inclusive growth and economic, social and territorial development; including progressive integration in the EU internal market; • Mobility and people-to-people contacts; including student exchanges; • Regional integration; including Cross-Border Cooperation programmes. Further information on EMWIS website.

7- The World Water Council announced that the 7th World Water Forum has recently released the final version of its Thematic Framework. The framework was built on the outcomes of the Kick- off meeting that was held last May in Daegu, Republic of Korea, and will serve as building blocks for the preparatory process that will pave the way to the Forum week in 2015. It highlights human, economic and environmental needs in three main action goals. In order to achieve these goals, a special focus is being made on implementation mechanisms that will be used to define action tools. It is at the intersection of the Goals and Tools that progress can be made. On 27 and 28 February 2014 in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, the 2nd Stakeholders Consultation Meeting will serve to delve deeper into the 7th World Water Forum Framework. Further information on EMWIS website.

8- The Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA) announced "The Algeria Declaration" emanating from the closing Speech of H.E. Mr. Hocine Necib the Algerian Minister of Water Resources at the closing session of ACWUA 6th Best Practices Conference in Algiers (Algeria) held on the 4th December 2013, and attended by 200 persons. It was agreed: 1. The necessity of the unification of accreditation procedures between Arab countries and the development of inter-Arab legislation. 2. Assigning ACWUA to work on finding appropriate funding for the project "Unification of Accreditation & Standards in water utilities in the Arab countries”. 3. Continue to work on the development of Arab and International Cooperation in the field of integrated water resources management to realize sustainable development in building capabilities of skilled workers in the water utilities in the Arab countries. 4. The need to urge the Arab countries to adopt and employ the best professional practices for the betterment of public water utilities management. 5. Application of quality systems and standards in water utilities in order to provide better services to citizens and especially to reduce the risk of contamination. 6. Recommendation to apply International regularity standards as a tool for continuous monitoring and a reference for matching mechanism for public water services. 7. The need to expand the deployment of the Water Operators Certification Program implemented by the Arab Countries Water Utilities for water operators in the Arab water utilities. 8. Work on building a solid strategy that aims to maintain water resources by using technical indicators for enhancing the efficiency of water utilities, improving the quality of service and ensuring the continuity of good management of water utilities. Further information on EMWIS website.

9- The future waste water treatment plant of Cagnes-sur-Mer (French Riviera) will be operational in 2019 as confirmed by the its mayor, during a press briefing organized by the Joint Association of Wastewater Treatment Plant of Cagnes-sur-Mer (SYMISCA). That association includes Nice Côte D'Azur (NCA) metropolis and the 4 municipalities connected to the WWTP (Cagnes, La Colle, Villeneuve-Loubet and St. Paul de Vence). Elected officials have announced that municipalities will remain owners of the future treatment plant and that they entrust the construction and operation of one single enterprise for "reasons of consistency and cost". The equipment is expected to cost 75 million EUR, financed by NCA. This treatment plant will be a pilot in the treatment of micro-pollutants previously untreated such as heavy metals, pesticides, etc. Further information on EMWIS website.

10- The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Tunisian authorities have signed a €90 million financing agreement to support projects that will generate growth and employment in Tunisia’s regional heartland. The agreement signed by Development and International Cooperation Minister Lamine Doghri and European Investment Bank Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive aims to support two key projects that will have a direct impact on the daily life of ordinary Tunisians. This includes a €50 million loan for the economic and social development of Tunisia’s local authorities and a €40 million loan to tackle pollution and rehabilitate the Bizerte area. 1) €40 million loan for tackling pollution and rehabilitating the Bizerte area: It is fully consistent with the H2020 initiative for tackling pollution in the Mediterranean and will enable optimum use to be made of the finance thanks to an advisory and consultancy operation tailored to meeting the challenges of the project – both environmental and economic – with a view to long-lasting and sustainable development. This project is also being financed by the EBRD €20m). 2) €50 million loan to support economic and social development projects undertaken by local authorities. Further information on EMWIS website.

11- A partnership agreement has been recently signed by the French Canal de Provence Company and the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture, General Directorate for Rural Management to implement a project to support  irrigation water user associations in five governorates of north and centre of Tunisia. This project is financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) (750 000 EUR) and the "Agence de l'Eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse" (250 000 EUR). AFD grant aims at supporting the implementation of the national strategy for sustainability of Public Irrigated Perimeters which completes a financing loan of € 45 million dedicated to the 2nd Water Sector Investment Programme (PISEAU II) of the Ministry of Agriculture (irrigation & drinking water infrastructure).  The project involves 70 Agricultural Development Groups that manage and exploit about 65 000 hectares of irrigated areas. Over a period of 2 years, the project will aim to develop and implement a training program and coaching the water user associations to improve their performance and to implement participatory action plans with the ultimate aim of improving the management of irrigated areas. Further information on EMWIS website

12- Water, agriculture and land usage experts from more than 15 Arab countries called for formulating a regional strategy to address water scarcity, land degradation and rising food prices. During the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Land and Water Days, experts said that the NENA region is one of the most water scarce regions in the world, with fresh water per capita estimated at 10 per cent of the international average and projected to decrease by 50 per cent by 2050. Land and water systems in the NENA region are critical, as 90 per cent of the region lies in arid or semi-arid areas, said Abdessalam Ould Ahmad, FAO assistant general director and regional representative for the NENA Region. "The availability of both land and water for agricultural production may have already reached its limits... fresh water per capita has decreased by two-thirds and stands to decrease by another 50 per cent during the next 40 years," Ould Ahmad said during the event. Expansion of irrigated crops in the region, the highest in the world, is accompanied by depletion of underground water, increase in soil salinity, erosion and depletion of soil nutrients, he added. "As the largest and constantly growing importer of basic foodstuff, the NENA region is more vulnerable than other regions to an increase in food prices, year-to-year prices volatility and possibly to access to food supplies," he noted. The FAO official warned that water scarcity and land degradation in the region will have enormous negative consequences on food security. Inappropriate land and water management practices have harmed the region's fragile natural resources, the experts said, noting that although countries have approved vast investments and made progress in tackling this challenge, actions are not yet commensurate with the magnitude of the problem. The event seeks to find collaborative solutions for the improvement of agriculture, water management and food security in the region, according to organisers. Further information on EMWIS website.

13- IUCN and partners are implementing a project in Jordan to provide long-term benefits for women through agriculture interventions, considered ‘climate smart’. The project, which is implemented by IUCN Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) and funded by International Center for Agricultural Research in Drylands Area (ICARDA), aiming at integrating women in food production. When we look at the value and practicality of different approaches to climate smart agriculture, it is important to understand the gender aspects of their impact. In West Asia, women are becoming increasingly important within agriculture, including earning incomes as well as providing labor, but the extent to which women participate in, and benefit from, agricultural changes varies from place to place. The project is expected to achieve a number of results that local communities will benefit from on the local and global levels, with special attention to those important to women. Further information on EMWIS website.

14- Overcoming political obstacles, Israel, Jordan, Palestinian Authority signed an 'historic agreement' securing additional 100 million metric cubes of water supplies for residents of Israel, West Bank, Jordan. In a ceremony held in the Washington headquarters of the World Bank on Monday, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement green-lighting the construction of Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline. The Red Sea–Dead Sea Conduit also known as the Two Seas Canal will carry some 100 million metric cubes of water to the north annually, thus hopefully slowing down the process Dead Sea's desiccation. As part of the cooperation, a joint water purification plant will be formed and Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians will share the water. According to the agreement, some 200 million metric cubes of water will be pumped from the Read Sea annually, some 80 million of which will be desalinated in a special facility to be built in Aqaba, Jordan; 30-50 million cubic meters will be allocated to Israel for usage in the Arava and Eilat. The Jordanians will receive 30 million cubes for their own southern region and an additional 50 million cubes of grey-water from the Kinneret for the north. As part of the agreement's negotiations, the Palestinians requested a foothold in the northern part of the dead sea, in the Ein Pushka area, but Israel refused. Instead, the Palestinian Authority will receive some 30 million cubes from the Kinneret – either desalinated water or grey-water at production cost – which will increase water supplies for West Bank residents. Baring unexpected delays, the construction of the pipeline and purification facility will be completed within four to five years. Further information on EMWIS website

15- Dr. Fadi Comair, the honorary president of the Mediterranean Network of Basin Organisations (MENBO) & EMWIS Focal Point (Water Director) in Lebanon shared in the columns of ECONEWS the state of the art of water in the Mediterranean and global changes including climate that threaten its future. In Lebanon, nearly 1.2 billion cubic meters of water are wasted depriving citizens of this essential resource while the solutions proposed by the concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) have been adopted by Lebanon since 1999. Further information on EMWIS website

16- Climate change is just a different breed of terrorism threatening water in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon. Will water be the main headline of the next war if it becomes scarce in the region? A Ministry of Environment report on climate change confirms that Lebanon faces a growing shortage in water resources and rising salt water contamination of coastal groundwater wells. Water shortages are expected to range anywhere between 250 and 800 million cubic meters annually by 2015. The report further predicts a rise in temperatures and a 10-20% fall in precipitation by 2040. As some crops, especially citrus, olive, and apple trees, move to higher altitudes, agricultural crops are expected to change amid a rising demand for irrigation, leading to additional water shortages. As a result, food security would be threatened, some crops would disappear and be replaced by others, and historical cedar forests would be endangered by rising temperatures.  Against a backdrop of this crisis, Director General of Water and Electricity Resources Dr. Fadi Comair offered some solutions, including several measures to alleviate the effect of climate change  on the water cycle, particularly on precipitation, inundation, drought, dry springs, and rising temperatures. Dr. Comair also mentioned certain factors to be taken into consideration when building dams. According to Comair, recent climate changes have altered predictions based on previous studies, which now need to be amended to take into account environmental impacts and water security. Further information on EMWIS website

17-  From the Syria crisis and its spill-over effects, the difficult political transitions underway in countries such as Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, to the still unfulfilled ambitions of the Palestinian people for national determination, the Arab World today remains a region where crisis, conflict and political challenges shape the lives of much of the population and are understandably front-and-center in the regional dialogue. However beneath the surface, a consensus is emerging that any potential progress on any of these fronts may be undercut if sufficient attention is not given to another issue: the Arab world's deepening water crisis. If the last seventy years can be considered the era of oil in the Arab region, the years to come will be shaped to a much greater extent by how we make use of water. The Regional Bureau for Arab States of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched a new report on the future of water in the Arab region. Entitled the Arab Water Governance Report, the publication argues that the future will depend on whether the Arab countries can vastly improve the way water is managed. Oil and gas have allowed for significant modernization over recent decades including unprecedented improvement in human development, but continuing our progress requires us to treat our water with as much reverence as we have our energy resources - or even more. From agricultural decline, to youth unemployment and indeed in many cases to civil unrest, most of the difficult dynamics facing the Arab region today are linked in different ways to water issues. Addressing the water scarcity challenge in a comprehensive manner is urgent. Addressing the current water crisis requires strengthening technical capacities and national institutions and developing mechanisms to increase the transparency and accountability of public water services. It also requires additional financing - a recent report by the Islamic Development Bank showed that the Arab countries need to invest US$200 billion in infrastructure in the coming years in order to meet rising demand. Further information on EMWIS website

18- The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and DNV GL - Business Assurance have entered into a partnership to develop and implement joint projects in the field of water footprint measurement, as well as to promote water management best practices, with a particular emphasis on Africa. The aim is to build the capacity of the local private sector in certification, label creation, evaluation, training and coaching in food safety and security, as well as in responsible supply chain and quality management. UNIDO notes that in many markets, freshwater resources are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change, as well as competing demands from industry and growing populations. UNIDO and DNV GL will jointly develop a water footprint self-assessment tool to assist small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries to evaluate their footprint in restricted stages of the product life cycle, specifically the so-called ‘cradle-to-gate' assessment, from agricultural production through processing and production and up to the factory gate.  By upgrading the supply capacity of local producers in collaboration with large food brand owners/manufacturers, the partnership aims to ensure that local suppliers establish sustainable business linkages with buyers and gain access to national, and eventually, regional and international markets. Further information on EMWIS website.

19- The conference entitled ‘Public participation and water resources management: Where do we stand in international law?' analyzed current trends and thinking on the role of non-state actors in managing freshwater resources.  During the conference, which took place on 13 December 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland, participants agreed that the concept of public participation in international law needs to be better defined, noting integrated water resources management (IWRM) represents one avenue for promoting public participation and the protection of the environment in international water law. Panelists concluded that several approaches to public participation exist at the regional level, during the session on public participation and its regional variants. Panelists highlighted compliance mechanisms and the possibility of citizen submissions, including through Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and regional development banks, during the session on public participation, compliance and settlement of disputes.  Over 60 participants representing UN agencies, academia, international organizations, and civil society, as well as national experts attended the conference. UNECE and the Platform for International Water Law of the University of Geneva organized the conference, with financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation. Further information on EMWIS website.

20- Europe's Water Framework Directive states that water is a heritage we must protect and defend. The potential threat of water contamination and the spread of waterborne diseases are becoming more serious than ever before. This is the result of a number of factors, including the increase in population, globalisation and the movement of more people across borders and between continents, and the effects of global warming. The European Union-funded MICROAQUA project set out to develop a new, highly-efficient, rapid method of detecting waterborne pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa and cyanobacteria) that cause human diseases. Existing techniques are laborious and time-consuming, requiring labour-intensive cultivation and microscopic examination of potential pathogens from water samples. The innovative molecular biological techniques being investigated by the MICROAQUA team would, by contrast, enable the rapid - and more reliable - detection of pathogens in large volumes of water. The project is due to run until November 2014, but the team has already succeeded in designing and testing the key components of a planned ‘universal microarray chip’. This chip comprises a number of species-specific probes that are able to recognise the nucleic acids from various disease-causing or otherwise harmful organisms. Further information on EMWIS website.

21- Launched on 7 May 2013, ESA’s Earth Observation satellite Proba-V has now completed the crucial commissioning phase and declared ready for its operational phase, providing global vegetation data for operational and scientific use. Designed to map land cover and vegetation development, the Proba-V miniaturised satellite tracks the entire planet every two days alerting authorities to crop failures, monitoring inland water resources and tracing the steady spread of deserts and deforestation. Proba-V carries a Vegetation instrument that collects light in the blue, red, near-infrared and mid-infrared wavebands, making possible to distinguish between different types of land cover and plant species, including crops. In an early phase following the launch, the satellite was subject to certain tests to establish contact, confirm its pointing direction and check the various subsystems to ensure their functionality. Afterwards, the Proba-V entered in a commissioning phase that lasted for six months, during which all the systems of the satellite were then activated and evaluated. Less than seven months after its launch, Proba-V is now ready for operations which will provide valuable data to the scientific community about the state of global vegetation and its dynamic changes in a seasonal context. ESA has also announced that access to near-real time data at a 1 km resolution is free and open with user registration, with high-resolution data accessible for free to the research and development community. Further information on EMWIS website.

22- On 4th November 2013, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive to reduce the consumption of lightweight plastic bags in the EU. The proposal amends the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC). The European Commission adopted a proposal that requires Member States to reduce their use of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Member States can choose the measures they find most appropriate, including charges, national reduction targets or a ban under certain conditions. Lightweight plastic bags are often used only once, but can persist in the environment for hundreds of years, often as harmful microscopic particles that are known to be dangerous to marine life in particular. Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "We're taking action to solve a very serious and highly visible environmental problem. Every year, more than 8 billion plastic bags end up as litter in Europe, causing enormous environmental damage. Some Member States have already achieved great results in terms of reducing their use of plastic bags. If others followed suit we could reduce today's overall consumption in the European Union by as much as 80%." Further information on EMWIS website.

23- The project "Creating a mobile application designed to inform users about the waste end of life" is the the result of collaboration between the Orange Developer Center (ODC) and COLLECTUN D3E RECYCLING and with the participation of the ANGed (National Agency for Waste Management in Tunisia). As part of its Corporate Pilot Program, dedicated to young engineers, ODC and its experts are committed to delivering mobile applications free of charge to meet the needs of customers. This project gives young engineers a unique experience in designing and developing mobile applications. Throughout the internship, Orange Developer Center offers its trainees networking opportunities with companies and invite experts to increase their chances of employability in the ICT market. This application is intended to answer any questions that citizens may arise on waste composition, dangerous, recycling and resource savings due to their valorization. Available for free on the AppShop Orange Tunisia and Google Play, from 25 February 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

* A project currently being undertaken by the European Commission on ‘Natural Water Retention Measures’ (NWRM) is coordinated by the International Office for Water (OIEau), that is also involved in the process of the regional networks. An important part of the programme of work is the aim to develop a network of interested technical experts and water managers across Europe, who can contribute to effective implementation of Natural Water Retention Measures (NWRM) at the River Basin scale and across Europe. The project has been presented during the last INBO GA in Plovdiv. At this occasion, we explained we would propose to join the NWRM network. You will find on the NWRM website an invitation to join the project, a project leaflet and a background document on NWRM. In order to provide appropriate regional focus, we are establishing four regional networks: Western Europe, Northern Europe/Baltic region, Danube and Mediterranean. According to your regional scope and interests, you would be most welcomed to join the related network. Further information on EMWIS website.


24- Palestine: Rebhi Al-Sheikh has been nominated last December 22nd as Acting Chairman of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) by the Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Rami Alhamdulillah. Rebhi Al-Sheikh was assigned to this position after that the President of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) Dr. Shaddad Attili has started his new assignment as Deputy Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Further information on EMWIS website.

25- Loïc Voisin appointed Chief Executive Officer of SAFEGE: Loïc Voisin has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of SAFEGE effective 20 January 2014. His role at SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT Group is to continue SAFEGE's development in France and abroad, and to reinforce its positioning as a multi-disciplinary engineering company focused on urban and regional development. Further information on EMWIS website.

26- Benedict Clocheret joined Artelia as Group Chief Executive with effect from 1 January 2014: Former student of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Roads, graduated from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, Benoît Clocheret has spent his entire career with the Suez Environment Group. Aged 44  he was in early 2010 CEO Safege, engineering subsidiary of Suez Environnement. He previously held various managerial positions and management of subsidiaries in France and the United States. Further information on EMWIS website.

27-  The Universities of Exeter, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff invite applications for 4-year fully-funded PhD studentships (starting in October 2014) as part of its EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Informatics, Science and Engineering.  Applicants should have an interest in specific aspects of water and informatics, and are expected to demonstrate creativity and be open-minded to collaborative work and innovation. Full scholarships (up to 20 per year), including a stipend to cover living expenses and fees, are available to UK/EU students at standard EPSRC rates. A small number of these may also be available to International students. Further information on EMWIS website

28- International Climate Protection Fellowships Call for applications: For young climate experts from transition and developing countries interested in conducting a project in Germany.  Up to 20 fellowships will be granted, funded under the Federal Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative. The closing date for applications is 15 March 2014. The fellowship will commence on 1 March 2015. Further information on EMWIS website

29- TWAS/BioVisionAlexandria.NXT 2014- Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt: TWAS/BVA.NXT 2014 will be the fourth BioVisionAlexandira.NXT to be organized in Alexandria. The Event will be held under the theme: “Research Ethics and Social Responsibility”. TWAS/BVA.NXT 2014 intends to explore research ethics in the developing world, and highlight its importance for society. It will also identify researchers’ responsibilities to overcome obstacles in developing countries using quality controlled and high standard research. The Event will be held on 5 and 6 April 2014, where TWAS/BVA.NXT 2014 participants will be offered the opportunity to meet other young scientists and professionals from different parts of the world. Financial Support: Financial Support to air tickets is only available for accepted participants who are natives of developing countries by TWAS (the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries). Registration Deadline: 15 January 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.

30- TWAS Prizes 2014: Each year the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of sciences in developing countries (TWAS) awards eight prizes of USD15,000 each to individual scientists who have been working and living in a developing country for at least ten years. The Prizes are given in the following fields of science: agricultural sciences, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, medical sciences and physics. Deadline for receiving nominations for the TWAS 2014 Prizes: 28 February 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


31- "Arab Region Atlas of Our Changing Environment: First Report of its Kind Uses Satellite Images to Track Land-use Change, Urban growth and Shrinking Water Bodies".  It was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI), supported by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). The Atlas is the latest addition to a series of atlases coordinated by UNEP that began in 2005 with the launch of a global atlas - “One Planet, Many People.” Further information on EMWIS website.

32- Who Governs Internationally Shared Watercourses? Clearing the Muddy Waters of International River Basin Organizations, by Schmeier, Susanne., Andrea K. Gerlak and Sabine Schulze. It is a working paper of the Earth System Governance. Despite the increased attention paid to RBOs in international relations and water scholarship, there has been little focus on definitions and conceptualization of RBOs. This has challenged research around RBOs in both methodological and theoretical ways. This paper aims to bridge this gap by offering a theoretically-grounded definition of a River Basin Organization. Further information on EMWIS website.

33- Boosting Water Innovation: all presentations online, 31 January 2014 deadline of 2nd call. “Networking & interacting – Innovating water” was the theme of the first Conference of the European Innovation Partnership on Water, held in the EU Parliament in Brussels on 21 November 2013.  All the presentations made at the Conference are now online on the EIP Water slideshare account; a Conference Report and short film will be available soon on the EIP Water Market Place. Further information on EMWIS website

34- The 3rd annual International Conference on WATER (CI.EAU2013) was a new opportunity to dialogue and share different experiences and research results in science as well as in management. One of the main objectives of this conference was to initiate regional and Mediterranean cooperation initiatives. Reconciliation between the scarcity, quality and sustainability of water resources is a permanent objective to achieve. The recommendations of this conference organized by the Research Laboratory of Sciences of the UAE National Polytechnic - Algiers (LRS-EAU/ENP) are now available. Further information on EMWIS website.

35- "Water Cooperation for a Secure World -- Focus on the Middle East": is the title of an article by Dr. Tuğba Evrim Maden, who is an analyst with the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) Water Research Program. This article analyzes the outputs and the follow-up of the “Blue Peace in the Middle East: International Media Conference” that was held in Istanbul on March 18-19, 2013. This event was co-hosted by the journal Turkish Review and Mumbai-based think tank Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) also cooperated in hosting the event. As a follow-up to this conference, the same group held another titled “Water Cooperation for a Secure World -- Focus on the Middle East” in Amman, the Jordanian capital, on Nov. 27-28, 2013. Further information on EMWIS website.

36- Tunis declaration: "e-AGE 2013: 12-13 December 2013". Chaired by His Excellency Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh (Chairman of ASREN), the 3nd “International Platform on Integrating Arab e-infrastructure in a Global Environment, e-AGE 2013” concluded under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Moncef Ben Salem, Tunisian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and participation of Her Excellency Ambassador Faeqa Al-Saleh, representing His Excellency the Secretary General of the League of Arab States. Further information on EMWIS website.


37- The new programme H2020 on research and innovation launched officially on December 11, 2013: The European Commission has presented on December 11st the calls for projects under Horizon 2020. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe’s knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people’s lives. Most calls from the 2014 budget are already open for submissions, with more to follow over the course of the year. The three funded pillars of the new programme are: • Excellent Science: Around €3 billion, including €1.7 billion for grants from the European Research Council for top scientists and €800 million for Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships for younger researchers ;  • Industrial Leadership: €1.8 billion to support Europe’s industrial leadership in areas like ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced manufacturing, robotics, biotechnologies and space. • Societal challenges: €2.8 billion for innovative projects addressing Horizon 2020’s seven societal challenges, broadly: health; agriculture, maritime and bioeconomy; energy; transport; climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials; reflective societies; and security. International cooperation will be an important cross-cutting priority of Horizon 2020. In addition to Horizon 2020 being fully open to international participation, targeted actions with key partner countries and regions will focus on the EU’s strategic priorities , through a new strategic and coherent approach ensured across Horizon 2020. Further information on EMWIS website


38- Call for Expression of Interest on Recycling and waste recovery (France): As part of the Future Investments (PIA) program, the government encourages the development of a "circular economy" by focusing on three complementary areas: waste management, rehabilitation of polluted sites and soils and eco. This call for expressions of interest (AMI) deals with the management, recycling and recovery of waste. AMI closes on January 16, 2015 and has two intermediate deadlines to 10 January 2014 and 6 June 2014.  It is about financing technological innovations and innovative industrial solutions to increase the reuse, recycling and recovery, including energy, waste. Further information on EMWIS website.


39- Call for Tenders: Land and water resource management for agricultural development in the West Bank. A consortium composed of four Palestinian NGOs, that are the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Land Research Centre, and Economic and Social Development Centre has applied for a grant from the Netherlands Representative Office in Palestine for towards the cost of “Land and water resource management for agricultural development in the West Bank”, the programme foresees the implementation of an organization development effort in favour of the consortium members. The assignment is expected to commence in February 2014 and shall be implemented over a period of ten month. The consortium is looking for national and international consultants on Organizational Development. Expressions of interest must be delivered by the 29 January, 2014, at 14:00 local time. Further information on EMWIS website.


40- Final Reminder: January 19 Deadline for Abstracts and Event Proposals to the 2014 World Water Week in Stockholm. SIWI welcomes all water related event proposals that cover the broad spectrum of the water community, but as the focus of 2014 World Water Week will be on Energy and Water, SIWI is especially interested in proposals that expand on topics raised in the Thematic Scope such as the challenges and opportunities of unconventional energy sources, the rebound effect and the impact on ecosystems, economic incentives for energy and water, water-energy-food trade-offs, water-energy policy and governance coordination. Further information on EMWIS website.


41- Call for Papers for the Second Conference "Young researchers in 2014" at the Tour du Valat (France). The second edition of the Young Researchers Conference will be held on 28, 29 and 30 April 2014 at the Tour du Valat in the Camargue ( Bouches -du- Rhône, France). Its main objective is to create a scientific dynamic around the Mediterranean on the theme of conservation science. Deadline of papers submission: March 15, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


42- Call for abstracts for the 41st IAH Congress: "Groundwater: Challenges and Strategies": The Moroccan Committee of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH-CM) is organizing the 41st International Congress of IAH in Marrakech (Morocco) in 2014, under the theme "Groundwater: Challenges and Strategies." The Congress will offer the opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge, experience, techniques and knowhow in various aspects of groundwater. Deadline for receipt of abstracts: March,15 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


43- Call for abstracts for the 7th International Groundwater Symposium: Abstract submission deadline: January 31, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website


44- Call for abstracts for the NANOTECH MEET (Hammamet, Tunisia 2014 - [24/04/2014 - 26/04/2014]) joint international conferences. The deadline for abstracts submission is the 20th January 2014. Further information on EMWIS website


45- Call for Papers for the 3rd National Meeting of the Research on contaminated land - National Technical Days: Initiated by the French ADEME (Agency of the Environment and the Control of Energy) in 2002, these national meetings focus on the progress and highlights of research in the field of soil pollution due to agricultural industrial activities in urban soils, industrial. Excluded from the scope of this conference the agricultural and radioactive pollutions. The third National Meeting of the Research on contaminated land to be held on 18 and 19 November 2014 in Paris. Call for papers closing Date: January 31, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website


46- Call for Contributions for the International Symposium on Innovative Means to Protect Water Resources (SWIM- IMPROWARE): The IMPROWARE International Symposium on Innovative Means to Protect Water Resources entitled “The challenge of reclaimed wastewater reuse for aquifer recharge in the Mediterranean area” will take place in Tunis, from July 28 to August 3, 2014. Deadline for submission is January 30, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


47- The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), the Government of Morocco, European Space Agency (ESA) and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) are jointly organizing the 3rd International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management to promote the application of space technology for benefits of the developing countries. The Conference will be held in Rabat, Morocco, from 1 to 4 April 2014, and it will be hosted by the Royal Center for Remote Sensing (CRTS) on behalf of the Government of Morocco. The deadline for application is 20 January 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


48- Call for abstracts for the 4th SWEEP-Net Regional Forum on Integrated Solid Waste Management: "MOVING UPSTREAM: Waste and Resource Management with Social and Economic Benefits". SWEEP-Net’s 3rd Regional Forum will be held on 13-15 May 2014 | Amman– Jordan, under the high patronage of the Jordan Ministry of Environment. SWEEP-Net’s 4th Regional Forum is the Must Attend event for all Solid Waste Management stakeholders in the MENA region. Abstracts are still accepted. Further information on EMWIS website.


49- Call for abstracts for the 7th International Scientific Conference on the Global Water and Energy Cycle (14-17/07/2014, The Hague, The Netherlands): Increasing demand for fresh water and the impacts of climate extremes on water availability highlight why water is a major global concern, and is ‘trending now’. This conference will set the stage for the next phase of research on water resources, extremes, and climate sensitivity. Abstract Submission Deadline: 14 February 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.



50- The Erasmus Mundus Masters Course on Flood risk management is offered by the consortium consisting of UNESCO-IHE (the Netherlands), TU Dresden (Germany), UPC Barcelona (Spain) and University of Ljubljana (Slovenia). The programme starts September 2014. During the 2-year programme students follow semester one at TUD, semester two at UNESCO-IHE, semester three at UPC and University of Ljubljana, and semester four (thesis work) at one of the institutes or with an industrial partner. The application deadline is 7 January 2014 for non-EU and 26 January 2014 for EU applicants. Further information on EMWIS website.


51- "Summer Water Academy: Communicating Science on the Water- Energy- Food Nexus: Bridging the Link between Science & Policy"; 19-23 May 2014 in Bonn, Germany.  The academy recognizes the value of increasing the visibility and policy relevance of research findings in creating funding and research opportunities for young scientists. Deadline for full paper submission is by 31 January 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


[2014/01/23 - 2014/01/24] Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH): A two-day short course, Manchester, UK.


Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/01/07 - 2014/01/08] HYDRALAB-IV Young Researchers’ Workshop, Barcelona, Spain


Further information on EMWIS website

EVENTS (Full Agenda)

[2014/02/12 - 2014/02/13] 1st Euro-Mediterranean Brokerage Event on Research and Innovation - Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research & Innovation Gateway, Cairo, Egypt.
Further information on EMWIS website.


[2014/02/09 - 2014/02/09] Horizon 2020: Launch Event in the Med region "Meeting Euromed Common Challenges", Cairo, Egypt
Further information on EMWIS website.

[2014/02/06 - 2014/02/07] SmArt water management with Integrated Decision support system (SAID) project kick-off meeting: Dates not yet confirmed either 6-7 or 11-12 February 2014 in Malaga, Spain
Further information on EMWIS website.


[2014/01/29 - 2014/01/30] 15th Crossroads (Carrefour) on Water Management, Rennes, France

Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/01/27 - 2014/01/28] German Future Earth Summit 2014, Berlin, Germany.

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/01/24 - 2014/01/24] Common Kick-off for Water-Inno-Demo Call projects, Brussels, Belgium

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/01/22 - 2014/01/24] 13th International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2014, Salzburg, Austria.

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/01/21 - 2014/01/23] Conference: “Adaptive solutions for water utilities: Demonstrating practical approaches to climate change in urban areas”, Aarhus, Denmark

Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/01/16 - 2014/01/17] Online Professional Irrigation Scheduling Expert System (OPIRIS) project kick-off meeting, Murcia, Spain

Further information on EMWIS website.


[2014/01/16 - 2014/01/16] ACR + MED workshop "The informal sector in the Maghreb: under-estimated and under-valued", Rabat, Morocco
Further information on EMWIS website.

[2014/01/13 - 2014/01/16] 2014 UN-Water Annual International Zaragoza Conference: Preparing for World Water Day 2014 - Partnerships for improving water and energy access, efficiency and sustainability, Zaragoza, Spain.

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/01/08 - 2014/01/10] The Second WATERBIOTECH conference: "Biotechnology for Africa’s Sustainable Water Supply", Marrakech, Morocco

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/01/07 - 2014/03/03] "The hydrosocial cycle: phot'EAUX lands", Paris, France

Further information on EMWIS website

PROJECTS (Projects database)


Halting Desertification in the Jucar River Basin (HALT-JÚCAR-DES). Further information on EMWIS website.

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