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HTML Document EMWIS Flash N°118 - June/July 2014

Released 01/07/2014

EMWIS Flash - June/July 2014
Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water Sector

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Flash produced by the EMWIS Technical Unit- OIEAU, CEDEX, CHJ
Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform
Mediterranean Water Information Mechanism / Geo-Catalogue / UfM-Water / AquaForMED / PAWA /

In this issue N°118 (
1- Kick-off meeting of the 2nd Mediterranean Water Forum
2- 5+5 Water Strategy for the Western Mediterranean: 2nd Workshop, Oran (Algeria), 25-26/06/2014
3- Call for applications to integrate 5 new cities to the MED-3R Euro-Mediterranean strategic platform
4- Key topics of 2014-2020 Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme
5- Declaration of the 5th World Water Week, Beirut (22-23 May 2014)
6- Morocco & France: Moroccan Minister in charge of water official visit to France
7- Morocco: Abengoa to develop new desalination project
8- Tunisia: World Bank Announces Additional US$26.2 Million for Improving Water Supply

9- Lebanon: EU funds major programme to reform environmental governance
10- Syria: Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict
11- Turkey: Water levels still low in basins despite heavy rains
12- 7th World Water Forum is 300 days away
13- Second Mediterranean Workshop on NWRM

14- EU project supports 30 municipalities in monitoring and alleviating pollution of water resources
15- EU project helps southern Mediterranean municipalities join Covenant of Mayors to implement sustainable local policies

16- Call to Action for Implementing the Water-Energy-Food Nexus
17- AQUAKNIGHT, MEDOLICO and ShMILE 2: ENPI CBC Med Success stories projects
18- Towards better tools for decision-making: EEA indicators and accounts
19- 2nd stakeholders workshop on Water Accounts in Arno River Basin

20- United Nations Watercourses Convention enters into force
21- Arab countries study the benefits of joining the UNECE Water Convention
22- Single artificial wetland successfully treats different types of wastewater
23- Public consultation on sharing spatial information in Europe shows benefits and obstacles



1- When holding the 1st Mediterranean Water Forum on 19-20 December 2011 in Marrakesh (Morocco), the main stakeholders from the Mediterranean water and environmental community had launched a call to continue organizing Mediterranean Water Forums (MWF). During the Mediterranean Session held in Marseille at the 6th World Water Forum in March 2012, the President of the Region of Murcia, Mr. Luis Ramon Varcarcel, suggested to host and organize this second MWF event in Murcia (Spain). For this reason, the Institut Méditerranéen de l’Eau (IME) and the Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Water Institute (F-IEA) organized the Kick-off meeting of the 2nd Mediterranean Water Forum, with the support of the Kingdom of Morocco, under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment, on June 18th, 2014 in Rabat, Morocco, with the presence of the Moroccan Minister of water: Mrs. Charafat AFAILAL. EMWIS has participated in this event and will be involved in the steering group. Four main themes have been defined: Governance, Nexus Water / Energy / Food Security, New technologies : data management and non conventional resources, Mediterranean Water Knowledge Platform. The participants highlighted the key challenges for each theme for the Med region that will be illustrated at the 2nd MWF next November. The outputs of the Mediterranean Water Forum is also part of the preparatory process of the 7th World Water Forum for the Mediterranean. The 2nd Mediterranean Water Forum will take place in Murcia on 26-27 November 2014. Further information on EMWIS website
IN BRIEF (Full news)

2- As part of continued discussions begun at Valencia (Spain) in February 2014, a second seminar on joint Algerian-Spanish initiative regarding the Western Mediterranean water strategy was held in Oran (Algeria) the 25 and 26 June 2014. The seminar was inaugurated by both Algerian and Spanish Ministers in charge of water resources, which reflects the importance given to the development of a water strategy in the Western Mediterranean. 5+5 Dialogue Experts supported by those regional organizations (AMU: Arab Maghreb Union - UfM: Union for the Mediterranean), international (FAO), the European Commission and specialized agencies (EMWIS: Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector - MENBO: Mediterranean Network of Basin Organisations) have examined the Algerian-Spanish document and had a further exchange of views on the content of the water strategy in the Mediterranean. At the end of their work, a consensus roadmap and the preliminary draft content of 5 +5 Water Strategy were provided. They agreed to intensify their contacts and use all future water meetings (eg: EMWIS Steering Committee meeting in Valencia, 09-10/09/2014 and the Mediterranean Water Forum in Murcia, 26-27/11/2014) to work on preparing a draft strategy and roadmap for the first 5+5 Conference of Ministers in charge of water that Algeria intends to host towards the end of this year. To maintain contacts and prepare the forthcoming, the experts agreed to the creation of a network of focal points in charge of water issues. After the meeting, the participants visited the new building of the High School for Water Resources Management (ESMRE). ESMRE is member of the Mediterranean Network of Water Training Centers (AquaForMed). The participants had also visited the premises of the Water and Sanitation Company of Oran (SEOR). Further information on EMWIS website.

3- A call for applications is launched for the selection of five new cities to be integrated to the MED-3R (Strategic Euro-Mediterranean Platform for Appropriate Waste Management) platform. A call for applications seminar will be held for this purpose in Byblos-Jbeil, Lebanon in October 2014. MED-3R promotes a strategic platform of an organized linking between the engineers, experts, technical officers and elected officials in charge of waste in the Mediterranean. It allows the implementation and the adaptation of innovations in waste management in order to meet with the specific needs of the beneficiary territories experiencing difficulties in defining efficient and sustainable waste management plans adapted to local contexts. This platform supports as well the search for funding to partner cities and future members. Its partnership comprises 22 Mediterranean organizations (cities, networks, local and regional authorities and social economical actors). The integration to this platform is free and will include the participation in some meetings and technical visits within the project, and offer to the new members an access to the collaborative workspace. Applications must be submitted by electronic or postal channels and must contain: the electronic form to be filled out online by following this link, as well as additional documents listed in the annexed regulations. Incomplete applications will be rejected. The deadline for submitting the applications is Sunday 21 September, 2014, at 11:00 p.m. (GMT +1). Further information on EMWIS website.

4- Economic development, education & research, social inclusion and environmental protection are the key topics of the ENI (European Neighbourhood Instrument) CBC (Cross-Border Cooperation) Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme for the period 2014-2020. An agreement was found amongst the 14 countries participating in the Joint Programming Committee during a meeting held in Aqaba (Jordan) on 14th and 15th May 2014. A major step in preparing the new ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme was taken following the approval of its strategy: a set of four strategic objectives has been identified from the list contained in the draft Programming Document (which includes the strategic framework of all ENI CBC programmes), the socio-economic analysis of the cooperation area and extensive consultations with national authorities and stakeholders. Innovation is a major driver for competitiveness and productivity of Mediterranean economies. The objective referring to 'Support to education, research, technological development and innovation' will focus on technological transfer, commercialisation of research results and links between industry and research. Further information on EMWIS website

5- The 5th World Water Week of Beirut took place in Notre Dame University - Louaize (Beirut, Lebanon) last May 22-23, 2014. The event, organized under the auspices and in the presence of HE Mr. Arthur Nazarian, Minister of Energy and Water, brought together about 100 participants, representing national governments, international organizations, NGOs, universities, research centers, the Mediterranean projects and initiatives relating to water resources management in the Mediterranean countries and the Middle East. Participants requested that this Declaration is considered as an input to all relevant regional and international processes and in particular to: - 7th World Water Forum (Korea, 2015); - 2nd Arab Water Forum (Qatar, 2014); - Post-2015 Dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals; - The Development of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development; and the drafting of the Action Plan of the Mediterranean Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development. Further information on EMWIS website

6- The official visit of Charafat Afailal El Yedri, the Moroccan Minister in charge of water to France was an opportunity to work on the preparation of the 7th World Water Forum, and particularly on the international roll-out of the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, one of the world's highest distinctions in the water sector. This Prize rewards excellence in “Cooperation and sound management in the development and use of water resources” and the 2015 edition focuses on “Innovation for access to Water and Energy”. The winner will be granted a US$100,000 award (approx. 75 000 €). "Together with the World Water Council, through this Prize, we wish to promote outstanding contributions, may they be scientific or why not political, in the field of water management, development and use of water resources” said Mrs Charafat Afailal El Yedri. “Beyond this meeting, I am pleased to welcome again president Braga in October in Morocco, in order to inspire the youth.” “More than historical, the links between the World Water Council and the Kingdom of Morocco are deep and special, since our very first World Water Forum was indeed in Marrakech in 1997.” says Mr. Braga, president of the World Water Council. “ highly appreciating the outstanding and renewed commitment of the Kingdom of Morocco, I am honoured to have the Grand Prize at the Opening Ceremony  of next World Water Forum in Daegu, 12 April 2015.” Further information on EMWIS website.

7- Abengoa, the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, has been chosen by the Moroccan National Electricity and Drinking Water Office (ONEE) to construct a new desalination plant in Agadir, Morocco. The project will draw on Abengoa’s technological capabilities, based on a desalination method using a water ultrafiltration pre-treatment that will optimize the advanced reverse osmosis process. It will be Morocco’s largest capacity desalination plant. Abengoa will be responsible for the design, construction of the plant, as well as its subsequent maintenance and operation for a 20 year period. Abengoa’s project in Morocco will require a total investment of €82 million. The plant will supply 100,000 m3 of drinking water every day to the inhabitants of Greater Agadir, contributing to the major development taking place in this region, especially in the tourism, agrifood and industrial sectors.   Further information on EMWIS website.

8- The World Bank announced US$26.2 million in additional financing for upgrading water supplies and services in the Greater Tunis area and other cities in Tunisia, as well as for improving the financial situation of the national water utility, Société Nationale d'Exploitation et de Distribution des Eaux (SONEDE). The Greater Tunis area has about 2.5 million inhabitants, roughly a quarter of the country’s population. SONEDE serves the entire urban population of 500 towns and cities, as well about 50 percent of the rural population in 2,659 villages and rural communities. In recent years, it has faced higher than anticipated water demand in the Greater Tunis area, requiring urgent production capacity upgrades to avoid water shortages in the medium term. The financing is part of the National Water Security Investment Program developed by SONEDE and the Tunisian government to ensure the country’s urban population continue to receive undisrupted water services (24 hours a day, seven days a week) over the next decade, despite fast growing demand and the negative impact of climate change. The Bank has developed a strategic partnership with SONEDE, which includes technical assistance to ensure its financial sustainability, as well as twinning it with other well performing utilities in the region to strengthen management, performance, and service delivery. The number of people due to benefit from the additional financing for the rehabilitation and expansion of the water supply is about five million, close to 50 percent of Tunisia’s population of 11 million. Further information on EMWIS website

9- Lebanese Environment Minister Mohamad Al Mashnouk has announced the launch of an EU-funded programme supporting environmental governance reforms in Lebanon (StREG). The programme has benefited from an EU grant of €8 million and will be managed through the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. A press release said the programme was one of the biggest and most important environmental programmes in the history of the Ministry of Environment. "StREG is a programme which is helping us in governance, not only at the Ministry of Environment but also in all ministries because we believe that we are going to be the model of this change," Machnouk said. He added: "I think that by the time we reach the end of this programme, we will have many ministries wishing to do the same, and I want to thank the EU for this big help." Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, highlighted the support of the EU and the objectives of the StREG programme that aim to help the Lebanese government to build on previous successful examples of environmental governance. "This programme is part of a broader environmental package of the European Union for Lebanon, which includes waste management and coastal zone protection, one of the priorities of this Government," she added. Further information on EMWIS website

10- In May 2013, a year ago, Thomas Friedman, writing for the International Herald Tribune and New York Times, was one of the first to acknowledge the importance of drought and  the lack of water  in the Syrian revolution. In his paper «Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria», to be published in July 2014 (American Meteorological Society journal Weather, Climate, and Society), also concludes that drought, water and agricultural management, and climatic conditions are factors in the Syrian conflict. Peter Gleick’s new research paper evaluates the role of regional drought, unsustainable water management policies, and climatic conditions in contributing to the severe conflict in Syria in the past few years. The paper concludes that the many factors influencing the severe violence in Syria include long-standing political, religious, and social ideological disputes; economic dislocations from both global and regional factors; and the consequences of water shortages influenced by drought, ineffective watershed management, and the growing influence of climate variability and change. Improvements in water-use efficiency and productivity in agriculture, better management and monitoring of groundwater resources, and comprehensive international agreements on managing and sharing the rivers that cross political borders are key to mitigating these risks. Starting in 2006 and lasting through 2011, Syria suffered the worst long-term drought and the most severe set of crop failures in recorded history. The decrease in water availability, water mismanagement, agricultural failures, and related economic deterioration contributed to population dislocations and the migration of rural communities to nearby cities. These factors further contributed to urban unemployment, economic dislocations, food insecurity for more than a million people, and subsequent social unrest.  Further information on EMWIS website

11- According to the Turkish State Meteorological Service, water levels remain low in 24 out of Turkey's 25 drainage basins despite heavy rains in May. After a dry winter, Turkey is struggling with drought. The agency's latest report said that although 17 out of 25 basins in Turkey saw above-average rainfall in May, it wasn't enough to allay rising concerns. Rainfall in the other eight basins was lower than historical averages. The drought was most severe in the Küçük Menderes basin in the Aegean region, with rainfall dropping 53.6 percent year on year. The Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB) prepared a report on drought and unusual weather conditions' effects on the agricultural sector and held meetings with agricultural producers in various provinces. In its report on the Konya region, TZOB said that Central Anatolian producers started the year in the midst of a weather disaster, and that it has continued through today.  Olives, cherries and chestnuts were the worst-affected agricultural products. In Malatya, the TZOB said that drought and frost were the two main factors behind the province's low agricultural output. Production of Malatya's main export, apricots, fell 94 percent. Another apricot-producing province, Elazığ, lost its entire apricot harvest. Meanwhile, wheat harvests in Osmaniye, Kilis and Gaziantep were badly hit by adverse weather as well. Wheat harvests in Siirt, Osmaniye and Gaziantep fell 50 percent, while those in Adana and Hatay fell 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively. In the Ordu regional meeting, TZOB said that frost and low rainfall had damaged nut, kiwi and tea harvests. Further information on EMWIS website

12- With its core value of “implementation,” the 7th World Water Forum will take place in Daegu & Gyeongbuk of Korea from April 12 to 17, 2015. The World Water Forum is the largest water-related event organized by the World Water Council every three years. More than 300 sessions under 16 overarching themes such as climate change & natural disasters, water and human rights, water and cities, IWRM (Integrated Water Resources Management), water and food, green growth, governance, and water and culture will be organized. The slogan of the 7th Forum, “Water for Our Future,” implies that we should prepare for the future of water with concrete actions and implementation. This edition of the Forum focuses on the implementation of the solutions identified in the previous editions. The Forum consists of 4 preparatory processes within a common framework. These processes are Regional, Political, Thematic as well as Science and Technology. Regional stakeholders are mobilizing efforts all across the world via the regional preparation of Africa, the Americas, Arab region, Asia-Pacifico, Europe, Mediterranean (see headline article) and economically water-scarce regions. Further information on EMWIS website.

13- The second workshop on NWRM (Natural Water Retention Measures) for the Mediterranean network will take place on September 11th-12th, 2014, in Turin (Italy), coinciding with the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second semester of the year. The second workshop has been designed both to link NWRM to policy challenges and also to emphasise on the multi-benefits of these measures, as linked to different policy aims (natural flood management, drought risk mitigation, biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, etc.). Each session will be followed by a facilitated discussion. In particular, the workshop targets the multiple benefits of NWRM, and how they serve as a way to tackle water scarcity and drought and flood risk within the context of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies, and as part of ecosystem-based management approaches. There will also be ad-hoc sessions on storm water management through SuDS in the presence of severe soil sealing, and the importance of monitoring and evaluation of NWRM to make NWRM success case stronger based on good scientific evidence on actual retention. Last but not least, we will explore how NWRM can enhance policy co-ordination (spatial development, agricultural policy, urban development, water policy, land use policy). Further information on EMWIS website.

14- The project, "Promoting Sustainable Groundwater Resources in the Mediterranean Basin", funded under the Mediterranean Cross-Border Cooperation programme (CBCMed), presented its results during an international conference on May 27th-28th at the Dead Sea in Jordan. It has delivered a serie of actions aiming to improve the technical and administrative skills of staff from 30 municipalities in Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Spain in dealing with the actual and potential pollution of groundwater.   The actions delivered over the last three years include: • Training courses in Geographical Information System (GIS) as an instrument to support decision makers; • Mapping and monitoring of existing risks to groundwater; • Preparation of hazard reduction and prevention plans to deal with any future threats to groundwater.  The aim is to enable these communities to face the challenges of huge discharges of wastewater from municipal, agricultural and industrial water sources, due to the weakness of sewage networks, and/or lack of them, and posing serious threats to the quality of groundwater and human health.  Thanks to the skills acquired under the project, the staff of the municipalities involved underwent an important learning process, and will be more up to the task of sustainably managing water resources with positive impacts on over 1.4 million people in four countries. The project has been implemented by "EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East"(FoEME), a regional organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists to promote sustainable development, in cooperation with Malaga County Council (Spain) and the Water and Environment Development Organization - WEDO (Palestine). Further information on EMWIS website

15- The EU-funded project ‘Cleaner energy-saving Mediterranean cities’ (CES MED) has achieved considerable progress, with seven municipalities from the Southern Mediterranean having already adhered to the Covenant of Mayors, and more than a hundred planning to do so. The project assists a selection of 2-3 Local Authorities per beneficiary country in analysing their current sustainability situation and in developing and implementing sustainable local policies such as the Covenant of Mayors (CoM). In parallel, the project works with national authorities to improve their understanding of how the implementation of sustainable policies at local level can be beneficial at a national level. The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020. In total, 128 municipalities from the Southern Mediterranean are planning to join the Covenant of Mayors through the project.  ‘Cleaner energy-saving Mediterranean cities’ (CES MED) intends to expand the use at local level of sustainable policies, such as renewable energy solutions and energy efficiency measures to reduce CO2 emissions, as well as efficient water and waste management, environment-friendly public transport, etc.  The project will also contribute to making national authorities more aware of and responsive to the need for and advantages of a strong involvement of cities in local sustainable policy issues. Further information on EMWIS website

16- On 20 May, after two days of discussions in several plenary and a large number of parallel sessions, the International Conference on Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus issued a Call to Action for policy makers, practitioners and researchers around the world to start developing and implementing strategies that jointly address water, energy, and food in a comprehensive nexus approach. The key messages of the Call to Action are: 1. Responsible governance of natural resources is the necessary first step for action on the Water-Energy-Food Nexus; 2. The nexus is calling for a broad involvement of stakeholders to collaboratively work toward sustainable development; 3. It is essential to greatly expand financial, institutional, technical and intellectual resources for nexus research and applications. The Call to Action includes a set of guidelines which aim to support policy makers, practitioners and researchers as they consider a Nexus approach which focuses on increasing resource use efficiencies, which in turn reduce environmental pressures and maximize the benefits from scarce resources. Taken collectively, the guidelines of the “Call to Action” can constitute the centrepiece for Sustainability in the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. Further information on EMWIS website

17- AQUAKNIGHT "Stopping water leakages", MEDOLICO "Turning olive oil into Euros while protecting nature" and ShMILE 2 "Hotels are going green too" projects have been depicted as success stories in a press pack of the EU Neighbourhood Info Centre released on the occasion of the Union for the Mediterranean Ministerial Meeting on Environment and Climate Change (Athens, 13th May 2014). "Environmental problems concern us as much as our neighbours…the Mediterranean Sea is a shared sea and we have a common interest to look into these issues together and to mobilise all resources including financial in order to tackle the problems". This statement of  Mr. Michael Köhler, Director for the Neighbourhood at EuropeAid (Directorate General 'Cooperation and Development' of the European Commission), highlights the importance of the environmental challenge in the relations between the European Union and the Neighbourhood countries. The ENPI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme contributes to address the environmental dimension of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation through numerous projects focusing on the conservation of natural resources, protection of coastal eco-systems, sustainable waste management, efficient use of water or promotion of renewable energies. Environmental sustainability and the adaptation to climate change are key priorities of the ENPI CBC Med Programme with over 40 projects directly or partially dealing with these topics for an investment worth € 99 million (€ 80 million as ENPI contribution). Further information on EMWIS website

18- Effective environmental policy should be based on robust information on trends. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published two reports today which demonstrate how indicators and environmental accounting support policy and decision making. The 7th Environmental Action Programme sets out European Union environmental policy objectives for coming years. Implementing this programme will require improved knowledge, including a more detailed understanding of the interplay between economic, social and environmental factors in the transition to an inclusive green economy. Indicators and environmental accounting are important tools in improving this understanding. Environmental indicators are generally quantitative measures used to illustrate and communicate complex phenomena and trends in a simple way. The 'Digest of EEA indicators 2014' highlights the way that indicators can provide insights on progress towards environmental priorities. It gives special attention to emerging policy demands on systemic challenges such as climate change impacts, resource efficiency and ecosystem resilience.  In summary, this report explains "what we have, why we have it and how it can be used". Combining environmental and economic indicators and accounts has gained prominence in recent years, through a number of national and EU-funded European studies. 'Progress on resource efficiency and decoupling in the EU-27' demonstrates how the global environmental impact of production and consumption in the EU can be explored using environmental accounting methods. Drawing on Eurostat data for 2000-2007, and referring to specific policy goals objectives in the EU environmental legislation, the report demonstrates how "input/output-based analysis" can support policy makers in their decisions and choices. Further information on EMWIS website.

19- The second stakeholders workshop of the PAWA project "Pilot Arno Water Accounts" will be held on 2nd of July in Florence. The project is dedicated to the application of the United Nation water balance System of Environmental– Economic Accounts for Water (SEEA-W) to the Arno River basin in order to optimize the measures to be applied to fight against the adverse consequences of drought and water scarcity. The project is implemented by the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), the Arno River Basin Agency (ARBA), and EMWIS. This project is part of the European Commission DG Environment preparatory Action on development of water accounts at the river basin level and on monthly basis. PAWA project was recently presented together with other 6 similar projects co-funded by DG Environment at the Spanish national meeting of SEEA-W in  Madrid, 11 June. Three sub-basins have been selected to carry out develop pilot water accounts: Chiana with high agricultural water use, Bisenzio with high industrial water use and Pisa with high groundwater abstraction. The 1st workshop held in March 2014 introduced the concept of the SEEA-W to local stakeholders (e.g. provinces, cities, water utilities, engineering companies, universities). The 2nd will focus on building water flow diagrams for each sub-basin and reviewing the datasets collected to calculate the water balances. Further information on EMWIS website.

20- On 19 May 2014 Viet Nam acceded to the UN Watercourses Convention, making it the 35th country to join this global instrument. The accession by Viet Nam to the United Nations Watercourses Convention triggered its entry into force by bringing the number of Parties to the required total of 35. The 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (United Nations Watercourses Convention) will enter into force on 17 August 2014. Article 36 of the Convention stipulates that, »the present Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession«. Entry into force of this global framework convention that seeks to, »ensure the utilisation, development, conservation, management and protection of international watercourses and the promotion of the optimal and sustainable utilisation thereof for present and future generations«, is a significant milestone in the development of international water law. Hopefully, entry into force, together with the global opening of the UNECE Water Convention, will lead to growing awareness of the benefits of these global framework instruments, encourage more countries to join them, and go along way to strengthening transboundary governance arrangements across the world. Further information on EMWIS website

21- The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) can be a source of inspiration for progress in the management of shared surface waters and groundwaters in the Arab region and neighbouring States. Accession to the Water Convention could reinforce cooperation with riparian countries and lead to the equitable utilization of shared waters. Such potential benefits were acknowledged by participants in a workshop that gathered representatives of 12 Arab States on 11 and 12 June 2014 in Tunis. Key aspects of different legal frameworks for cooperation on shared waters were discussed, in particular the opportunity that the globalization of the UNECE Water Convention represents for the Arab region. Countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, as well as Palestine, expressed their interest in further studying the Water Convention and its applicability in their particular settings. Iraq and Tunisia reconfirmed their willingness to join the Convention. The workshop was held under the patronage of the Minister of Agriculture of Tunisia, Mr. Lasaad Lachaal. In the Arab region, more than two thirds of water resources, both surface waters and groundwaters, are shared by countries within the region or with neighbouring countries from outside the region. Participants highlighted the specificities of the Arab region, such as water scarcity and high dependence on groundwaters, which would need more attention in the future work to be implemented under the Convention. At the workshop, international experts from Parties to the Convention (France and Lithuania) shared their experiences in implementing the Convention. Good practices for cooperation on shared waters were also presented, for example by the Sahara and Sahel Observatory on the management of the North-Western Sahara Aquifer System. Further information on EMWIS website.

22- The world's first full-scale artificial wetland designed to treat both sewage effluent and mine wastewater has been found to continuously remove high levels of pollutants, a recent study concludes. Treating both types of wastewater at the same time proved to be highly beneficial because they contain pollutants which are more easily removed when mixed together. Wetlands contain plants and wildlife that are adapted to the local physical, chemical and biological conditions, and can remove a wide range of pollutants from water, such as metals, fertilisers and pesticides. Artificial wetlands are now a well-established wastewater treatment method in a wide range of industries. For example, they have been a common part of the sewage treatment process since the mid-20thcentury. More recently, the mining industry has begun creating wetlands to treat drainage water.  To study the removal of pollutants from the water, researchers took samples as part of regulatory monitoring roughly every two weeks between April 2007 and March 2011, from wastewater inflow and wetland outflow sites. The researchers concluded that, where practical, co-treatment of sewage and mine water in wetlands is beneficial. However, achieving these benefits would need cooperation and coordination of separate organisations, such as mine-pump operators and sewage-plant managers. Therefore co-treatment wetlands may benefit from, or even need, coordination by a third party, such as policymakers or environmental regulatory agencies. Further information on EMWIS website.

23- Better data retrieval and access, greater interoperability of data and improved coordination across the EU top the list of benefits perceived by both data producers and users of spatial information on the environment. Key changes suggested refer to improving communication and coordination, and to reducing the complexity of technical specifications as much as possible. These are some of the findings of a public consultation carried out by the JRC and the European Commission's Directorate General Environment (DG ENV) to support a mid-term evaluation of the 2007 INSPIRE Directive which sets the guidelines for the sharing of spatial data for environmental policies and the creation of a pan-European platform by 2020. INSPIRE stands for Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community. The results of the consultation were presented at the 8th annual INSPIRE Conference, organised by the JRC, DG ENV and the European Environment Agency, which took place from 16 to 20th June in Aalborg, Denmark. Over 550 participants, from 44 countries, came together to discuss their different national INSPIRE implementation strategies and initiatives. In its role as technical coordinator of the INSPIRE Directive, the JRC carried out the public consultation with a survey on the experience of producers and users of spatial data. The survey took place in late 2013 and early 2014. According to the 700 questionnaires returned, the INSPIRE Directive is seen to be starting to address key barriers that prevent the efficient sharing and use of spatial information. Respondents estimated that progress has been made in documenting data and making them available through web services. The survey also highlighted the delays incurred by Member States’ public administrations in putting measures in place to improve data sharing. Further information on EMWIS website.


24- Egypt: Dr. Hossam Moghazy nominated Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources in the new government. Egypt’s new Cabinet includes 34 portfolios, out of which 13 are new while 21 ministers are to remain in their posts. Dr. Hossam Moghazy was previously the head of Irrigation & Hydraulics department at the Faculty of Engineering, in Alexandria university. Further information on EMWIS website.

25- Call for candidatures – King Hassan II Great World Water Prize: The Government of Morocco and the World Water Council are launching the call for candidatures for the 5th edition of the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, which rewards excellence or innovation in “Cooperation and sound management in the development and use of water resources.” The winner will be granted an award of US$100,000. Deadline: 30 September 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

26- The French Award "Pierre Massé" on "Water and Society" is awarded by the French Hydrotech Society (SHF) each year to encourage anyone who has recently defended a PhD thesis or have published pioneering work on the humanities and social sciences applied to areas of water. The winners of this year are: Dr. Louise PURDUE: Dynamics of agrarian landscapes and water management in the semi-desert basin of Phoenix, Arizona, from prehistory to modern times [2013] and Dr. Zhour BOUZIDI: Analysis of coordination practices for the management of productive resources within the perimeter of Gharb in Morocco, Nanterre University [2012]. Further information on EMWIS website

27- USAID Desal Prize: Call for Innovations. Calling all desalination innovators! Do you have environmentally sustainable, cost-efficient and easy to maintain brackish water desalination technology that can provide clean water for households and crops in developing countries?  The Desal Prize will provide $400,000 in awards as well as mentoring to the top innovations that meet the competition’s criteria. The Desal Prize was launched on March 21, 2014 in Washington D.C. during U.S. Tech H2.O, a World Water Day event. If you think your desalination technology has what it takes, apply now through August 1. Further information on EMWIS website

28- A call for International Water Leaders: The International Water Centre (IWC), Australia, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Netherlands have joined forces to create a water leadership development program that helps emerging leaders tackle the global challenges of water security, healthy communities and healthy ecosystems in the 21st century. The International Water Leadership Program begins in September 2014. The program targets emerging water leaders in governments, business and civil society organisations, with 10 years of relevant work experience. Apply online for a scholarship by 1 August 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

29- PhD scholarship on International Water Governance and Transboundary Aquifers: The Law School at the University of Strathclyde is offering a PhD scholarship on International Water Governance and Transboundary Aquifers under the supervision of Dr Francesco Sindico. The deadline is July 15. Further information on EMWIS website

30- IDRC Research Awards 2015: As a research award recipient, you will undertake a one-year paid program of research on the topic you submitted to the competition and receive hands-on experience in research management, grant administration, and the creation, dissemination, and use of knowledge from an international perspective. Deadline: August 6, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website


31- "Vanishing Water Landscapes in the Middle East": On 11 June 2014 Francesca de Châtel successfully defended her PhD thesis on water in Syria. Further information on EMWIS website.

32- The SWEEP-Net (the Regional Solid Waste Exchange of Information and Expertise Network) secretariat has just announced its latest publication: New SWEEP-Net 2013 country reports. The annual publications document the state of solid waste management in each of the networks nine member countries and are the most comprehensive state-wide data on the SWM sector in the MENA region. Further information on EMWIS website.

33- Parts of the Nile Delta will be vulnerable to rising sea levels: IDRC-funded researchers have identified coastal areas in the Nile Delta that may be vulnerable to sea level rise using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Results indicate that significant land loss may occur in that region by 2100. This paper is a result of a project supported by IDRC’s Climate Change and Water program, Establishing the Alexandria Research Centre for Adaptation to Climate Change (ARCA). Further information on EMWIS website

34- "Waste management and treatment: GMI project launches a survey with young people and local actors": Assessing the level of knowledge of young people with regard to sustainable development and identifying territorial dynamics which impact waste management: these are the objectives of the survey launched by GMI project. In the framework of its preparatory activities which will lead to the installation of reverse vending machines in 200 schools and universities, GMI project is launching a study aimed at establishing a comprehensive picture of waste management practices and policies in six countries of the Mediterranean area (Egypt, France, Italy, Lebanon, Spain and Tunisia). Further information on EMWIS website

35- New water-based technology can help curb the impact of drought: A technique using osmosis to turn seawater into drinking water is just one of the cool prize-winning innovations for curbing the impact of drought featured in this article. One area of hope is water-based technologies, as this selection of prize-winning innovations reveals. Further information on EMWIS website

36- The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) report Describes Advantages of Addressing the Water, Food and Energy Nexus. Further information on EMWIS website.

37- Performance of water utilities beyond compliance: Sharing knowledge bases to support environmental and resource-efficiency policies and technical improvements. Published by: EEA (European Environment Agency) last May 6th, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

38- "New book: Living with water scarcity": It describes the origins and costs of water scarcity and explains how to address it with fair and pragmatic policies. You and your community can live with water scarcity -- just manage water as the precious resource it is. Further information on EMWIS website

39- UN-Water’s technical advice on a possible Water Goal: «Securing sustainable water for all». What should be to role of water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda?  The outcome – an evidence-based paper and an Executive Summary – recommends a prioritization of water through a dedicated goal with five interlinked targets, that builds on and extends existing commitments such as the Millennium Development Goals and the priorities agreed at Rio+20. But what is the goal? Securing sustainable water for all! Further information on EMWIS website

40- Developing countries are committing to sanitation, water and hygiene services for all by 2030, but accountability remains the "Achilles heel": Over 40 developing countries made more than 250 individual commitments to speed up access to sanitation, water and hygiene services. The countries launched these pledges at the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in Washington, DC on 11 April 2014. At the meeting, around 20 countries promised to provide universal access by 2030. Nearly 70 developing countries have adopted universal access policies according to a UN-Water special report. Further information on EMWIS website.

41- Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health: Newsletter N° 179 / 19 June 2014 is available online. Further information on EMWIS website


42- EU-LIFE: funding available for new ‪‎environment‬ projects. The European Commission just launched the first call for proposals under a new funding programme for projects dedicated to the environment and ‪‎climate action‬. LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU. The LIFE programme sets a budget for the next funding period 2014-2020 of € 3.4 billion.  Proposals may be submitted by legal persons (entities) registered in the EU. Applicants may fall into three types of beneficiaries: (1) public bodies, (2) private commercial organisations and (3) private non-commercial organisations (including NGOs). The total budget for project action grants for this call is EUR 283 122 966.  At least 55% of the budgetary resources allocated to projects supported by way of action grants under the sub-programme for Environment shall be dedicated to projects supporting the conservation of nature and biodiversity. Deadline are towards September/October 2014 depending on the category of projects. Further information on EMWIS website

43- INTERREG IVC eco-innovation analysis offers handy hints to regional policymakers: Regional policymakers seeking the best way to boost eco-innovation in the context of the implementation of European Union cohesion policy from 2014-2020 - and the associated European Structural and Investment Funds - could benefit from a recent analysis of eco-innovation projects that were carried out under the auspices of the EU's 2007-2013 INTERREG IVC programme. INTERREG IVC supported projects that brought regions together and enabled them to share knowledge on a range of themes. Of the 204 projects sponsored between 2007-2013, seven dealt with eco-innovation. In total, regions from 21 EU countries plus Norway participated in one or more of the eco-innovation projects. The seven projects focused on a variety of issues, including the construction sector, road transport, eco-management in companies and regional support for eco-innovation. The analysis, published by the INTERREG IVC programme, notes that the projects assessed 110 good practices in these areas. INTERREG IVC defines a good practice as an initiative that has already proved successful (meaning it has generated tangible and measurable results) and which has the potential to be transferred to a different geographic area. The projects and the associated good practices therefore comprise a handy library that regional policymakers can refer to when looking to pursue an eco-innovation strategy in their own region. Policymakers will also be pleased to hear that most of the good practices are non-financial, though some deal with grants and subsidies. The good practices can be categorised as policy instruments, support tools and technical solutions. Further information on EMWIS website

44- "Call for proposals: ENVI-Med 2014 - opening of the third call for proposals": The ENVI-Med regional program is an initiative of the the French cooperation to the countries of the Mediterranean basin designed to stimulate and strengthen the region on the basis of mutual benefit, science and technology high level collaborations and networked in Research focused on sustainable development and shared understanding of environmental operation in the Mediterranean. Worn by France, the program covers all the Mediterranean countries which contributes to the integration of research. It aims to promote exchanges and initiate multilateral cooperation by supporting the mobility of researchers within the framework of joint research projects and seminars, regional workshops and scientific conferences. The call is interdisciplinary and open to all topics in the areas of research and development related to understanding the functioning of Mediterranean environmental development. Deadline applications: September 15, 2014, Evaluation, selection and announcement: December 15, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

45- WERF is Now Accepting Pre-Proposals for the 2014 Unsolicited Research Program: WERF funds water research on behalf of its subscribers, and facilitates collaboration among organizations seeking funding partners for high-priority issues. WERF awards a contract through a competitive process and coordinates an independent technical review project through a staff-assigned project manager.  Proposals in all relevant wastewater, stormwater, and water quality areas are welcome. Pre-Proposal packages must be received no later than 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday, July 17, 2014.  Further information on EMWIS website

46- Call for Entries for FTW (Future Technologies for Water) Competition: The FTW (Future Technologies for Water) Competition aims to identify breakthrough technologies for safe water with a sustainable business plan with wide-scale applicability. The first-place winner will receive $15,000 and the second-place winner will receive $5,000. Deadline: July 31. Entries should relate to the following themes: •Shortening the water cycle by looking at grey water and/or wastewater reuse; •Rapid testing of water samples with an emphasis on in situ, online testing; •Protecting vulnerable and sensitive populations (e.g. young, elderly). Further information on EMWIS website

47- Call for proposals for Free FORMOSAT-2 Satellite Imagery: The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) calls for proposals for free FORMOSAT-2 satellite data. This research announcement provides an opportunity for researchers to carry out advanced researches and applications in their fields of interest using archived and/or newly acquired FORMOSAT-2 satellite images.  Up to ten proposals will be selected by a reviewing committee. Each selected proposal will be granted 10 archived images and/or data acquisition requests free of charge. All requested image acquisition shall be before December 31, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

48- ESA developing news ideas and concepts for mobile apps using satellite Earth observation data: Calling all app developers: register today for the opportunity to spend a week at ESA developing news ideas and concepts for mobile apps using satellite Earth observation data. During 8–15 September, ESA will welcome 20 app developers to its ESRIN centre for Earth observation in Frascati, Italy, for the third ESA App Camp. Apply for the 2014 App Camp. Applications will be accepted until 21 July. Further information on EMWIS website


49- The 7th World Water Forum Group on "Effective Governance": The OECD will coordinate the “Effective Governance” Design Group of the Thematic Process of the 7th World Water Forum, to be held in Daegu - Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea, 12-17 April 2015. A multi-stakeholder taskforce has been set-up to carry out the strategic and operational activities up to the Forum. The taskforce includes core members of the OECD Water Governance Initiative created in the aftermath of the 6th World Water Forum (ASTEE/IWA, OIeau/INBO, UNESCO-IHP, Suez Environment, SIWI, WIN and Transparency International) as well as FAO, Water Youth Network, K-Water and Asan Institute for Policy Studies. The taskforce has defined 6 priority themes to be covered on the road to the Forum, and would like to call for your contributions. The ambition is to broaden the multi-stakeholder base for dialogue and give any of you a chance to contribute through brainstorming, exchange of best practice, peer-review, showcase of success stories, and participation in the sessions to be held at the Forum. Should you be willing to join any of the above working groups, kindly provide your contact details and preferences by 6 July 2014 via the online mini-survey prepared. Further information on EMWIS website 

50- IWRA World Water Congress: Call for abstracts - Edinburgh, Scotland, 25-29 May 2015. Further information on EMWIS website.

51- Public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy: Informing the review of the Europe 2020 strategy and seeking your views on its further development. The consultation is open until 31 October 2014. Further information on EMWIS website

52- Call for abstracts for the final SCARCE International Conference: "River Conservation under Water Scarcity: Integration of water quantity and quality in Iberian Rivers under global change". Abstracts (in English) for oral (max. 4 pages) and poster presentations (1 page) should be submitted to the Secretariat before July 31st, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.

53- Call for abstracts for the World Sustainable Energy Forum - EnerSol WSEF Tunisia 2014 (26-28/11/2014, Tunis): The deadline for submitting abstracts for the 2nd edition of EnerSol WSEF Tunisia 2014 was extended to July 15th, 2014. Further information on EMWIS website.


[2014/09/30 - 2014/09/30] "International Office for Water Days: Flooding risks: how to prevent?", Paris, France
Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/09/08 - 2014/11/07] The Stockholm Environment Institute is pleased to announce the organisation of WEAP trainings this autumn on three continents as well as online. On-site Trainings: Stockholm, Sweden - September 8-12; Nairobi, Kenya - October 13 - 17; Bangkok, Thailand - November 3-7. Online Trainings: September 16-18 (English); September 23-25 (Spanish); September 30 - October 2 (Spanish); October 7-9 (English).  Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/09/03 - 2014/09/26] 62nd UNEP/UNESCO/BMUB International Short Course on Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation for Developing and Emerging Countries (SC 62), Dresden, Germany
Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/09/01 - 2014/09/28] e-learning course: "Introduction to Renewable Energy Desalination, 13th Ed., Online.
Further information on EMWIS website

EVENTS (Full Agenda)

[2014/08/31 - 2014/09/05] World Water Week: Energy for Water, Stockholm, Sweden
Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/08/24 - 2014/08/28] 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC Davos 2014: "Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice", Davos, Switzerland.
Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/08/17 - 2014/08/21] HIC 2014 – 11th International Conference on HydroInformatics: "Informatics and the Environment: Data and Model Integration in a Heterogeneous Hydro World", New York City, US

Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/07/28 - 2014/08/03] The SWIM-IMPROWARE International Symposium on Innovative Means to Protect Water Resources: "The challenge of reclaimed wastewater reuse for aquifer recharge in the Mediterranean area", Tunis, Tunisia

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/07/14 - 2014/07/17] Trending Now: Water’ - 7th International Scientific Conference on the Global Water and Energy Cycle, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/07/14 - 2014/07/15] The first session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom1) of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland
Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/07/11 - 2014/07/11] European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and EASAC: Brainstorming Workshop with the Global Young Academy, Brussels, Belgium
Further information on GYA website


[2014/07/08 - 2014/07/12] The 2nd Annual International Interdisciplinary Conference AIIC 2014, Azores Island, Portugal
Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/07/08 - 2014/07/11] 2014 World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling, Vilnius, Lithuania
Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/07/08 - 2014/07/10] 6th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism, Rijeka, Croatia
Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/07/02 - 2014/07/02] 2nd Stakeholders Workshop of PAWA project, Firenze, Italy

Further information on EMWIS website


[2014/07/02 - 2014/07/02] Symposium: The Competence on Aquatic Environments Management and Flood Prevention (GEMAPI), Paris, France

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/07/01 - 2014/07/03] 2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance: ’Allocation and Access in the Anthropocene’, Norwich, UK

Further information on EMWIS website

[2014/06/28 - 2014/07/02] The 5th World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists (WCERE), Istanbul, Turkey

Further information on EMWIS website

PROJECTS (Projects database)


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