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News The Arab Water Academy appointed its first director

The Arab Water Academy, which was launched in July 2008, offered a Water Diplomacy programme, under the theme Sharing Water, Sharing Benefits, from October 11-13, 2009.

The Academy, which was established in cooperation with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) and the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) is supported by the Arab Council of Water and the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank. It aims to be a center of excellence for advanced scientific and technical cooperation at the regional level and a permanent venue for the implementation of the latest training programmes in water resources planning and management.

The Academy offered its first programme in June 2009 on Water Governance. Several senior advisors, policy makers and leaders from various public, private sector and civil society organizations participated.

The Academy appointed its first director to ensure that the Academy builds on the strengths already established. Prof Asma El Kasmi took up the position on November 1st and aims to bring a wealth of international water education experience to the Academy. 

She said "In recent years, the amount of water available per person in the Arab region has declined dramatically and per capita water share is projected to fall by half around 2050. Today, 11 Arab countries suffer from water scarcity and this number is anticipated to reach 18 by 2025. The projected negative effects of climate change will not make our situation any better. The 2008 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report anticipates for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region declining rainfall (-10 to -25%) and increasing evaporation"

Prof. El Kasmi said "Decision-makers in the MENA region are facing a very complex situation arising from declining resources coupled with increasing and often competing demands. Not to make the task any easier, 60% of the region's water flows across international borders. Facing and addressing these combined challenges require that high priority be given to human capital development of decision-makers working in the water sector as well as in the associated fields".

Contact information Arab Water Academy (AWA), c/o International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture, PO Box 14660, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (email:
Phone: +9715 0181 2699 ; Fax: + 9714 336 1155
News type Nomination
File link
Source of information Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)
Keyword(s) water scarcity
Geographical coverage United Arab Emirates
News date 05/11/2009
Working language(s) ARABIC , ENGLISH