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News Guidelines on measures for improving compliance with water legislations and assessment of enforcement capacity in the SWIM-SM region with focus on Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Morocco

Ineffective rule of law is a main challenge towards implementing Integrated Water Resources management (IWRM) concepts, as identified by a regional review recently conducted in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco by SWIM-SM.

Although most SWIM Partner Countries (PCs) are taking legal actions to protect scarce water resources and restore the quality of the natural environment, and developing a number of integrated water and environment regulations the following issues were identified as elements still hindering the effective implementation and enforcement of laws in the South Mediterranean countries:

  • Inadequate, fragmented, technically inappropriate, or economically unaffordable and, ultimately, unenforceable water and environmental legal requirements and legislations;
  • Disproportionate effort put on the development of command measures while neglecting the much more demanding but needed control measures.  The voluntary approach that encourages or assists change without explicitly requiring it, market based/economic incentives and risk based approaches, are hardly applied.
  • Poor implementation of technology standards, which require the regulated community to use a particular type of water and environmental protection technology.
  • Ineffective requirements for reporting information through self-monitoring, self-inspection, and self-reporting programs.
  • Lack of a cohesive, comprehensive and effective monitoring systems for enforcement of the enacted legislation
  • Lack of public support, partnerships, economic incentives and subsidies, to ensure compliance.

Reliance for compliance is mainly represented by affordable and effective enforcement tools such as periodic permits and licenses, which control activities related to water and environment, both at the national and local levels.

In order to ensure enforceability the analysis suggests the following measures:

  • Improve the social climate for compliance
  • Identify the size of the regulated community
  • Analyze the ability to comply without adding a burden on the regulated party
  • Involve the regulated community and other stakeholders, and the enforcement officials in developing the requirements.

Moreover it stressed on the importance of education, information dissemination and technical assistance campaigns to promote compliance. This is particularly important in the South Mediterranean region, where the size of the regulated community far exceeds the regulating party’s resources andthe prevalence, in some cases, of a social norm of noncompliance. Many of the countries in the region failed to conduct such campaigns, mostly due to lack of perception and inadequate resources. Media is also hardly used to inform about water and environmental regulations and the corresponding enforcement activities.

In parallel there is a need for Improving the monitoring/field inspection and enforcement response capacities of authorities who need to be armed with credible evidence supported by expert witnesses and handled with a proper chain-of-custody in order to improve compliance.

Finally, monetary penalties should reflect the gravity of the violation and should be set based on clear calculations.

The study suggests specific guidelines and a step-wise approach for improving compliance with water and environment legislations:

  • STEP-I -Identify the management approaches that ensure compliance with water and environment legislations.
  • STEP II- Create regulations that are commensurate with the command & control approach
  • STEP III- Communicate requirements and their means of compliance
  • STEP IV- Create an enabling environment for compliance
  • STEPV- Motivate the regulated community to comply
  • STEP VI- Monitor compliance

Guidelines were also developed to support enforcement capacities and ensure compliance, consisting of the following action oriented five steps:

  • STEP I- Establish and develop the capacity of an inspection system
  • STEP II- Establish a monitoring and measuring system to verify compliance
  • STEP III- Ensure credibility of the indicting evidences
  • STEP IV- Establish enforcement response system to violations
  • STEP V- Develop a system to assess and incorporate proportionate penalties

To download the full document click here. For an executive summary in French click here


Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information SWIM-SM
Keyword(s) rule of law, IWRM
Geographical coverage Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco
News date 03/06/2015
Working language(s) ENGLISH