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News Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia: Assessment highlights the need for more pro-active risk-based management measures to cope with droughts and floods

Based on a SWIM-SM assessment recently released most of the drought episodes occurred during the last three decades and are becoming more persistent in the east Mediterranean involving multiple years of consecutive droughts. Increased incidences of flood events with dramatic economic, social and environmental consequences, are also shown to happen particularly in the west Mediterranean countries.

Apart from presenting an inventory of drought and flood episodes during the past 50 years in the South Mediterranean countries, their potential linkage with climate change as one of the drivers for the extreme phenomena in the Project Countries (PCs) and the socioeconomic impacts of both events, based on available online literature, the assessment also contains focused studies for Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia that:

i.      assess drought and flood in the selected PCs during the past ten years and their characteristics (including the frequency of their occurrence)

ii.      review and analyse the official water sector reactions including systems and mechanisms in place, and traditional community’s response to past drought and flood episodes

iii.     identify lessons learnt and potential indigenous best practices in drought and flood management in the selected countries

iv.     assess the socio-economic and environmental impacts of drought and flood including the identification of the most vulnerable socio-economic sectors and ecological systems

The case studies indicate that water related decision making in both Jordan and Palestine during drought periods is mainly driven by a reactive management approach. On the other hand, the Tunisian drought management system is based on three phases: (i) before drought (preparedness and early warning); (ii) drought management (mitigating the impacts of drought based on a drought mitigation guidelines developed in this regard); and (iii) post drought (involving updating the drought mitigation guidelines).

The assessment also highlights that poor management of water resources, including overexploitation of water resources, exacerbates drought and flood induced socio-economic and environmental impacts.  In addition the lack of integration of drought and flood management policies in the other line sectors results in ineffective costly short term solutions when considering all socio-economic and environmental impacts.

This necessitates a shift in paradigm from reactive crisis management into proactive risk based planning and management.

In this context, the assessment presents the planning tools and guidance already available that can be used for coping with both risk and uncertainty. Accordingly, a framework for drought and flood management policy recommendations are presented that embrace the concept of drought and flood risk management.

To download the full assessment click here

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information SWIM-SM
Keyword(s) droughts, floods
Geographical coverage Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia
News date 03/06/2015
Working language(s) ENGLISH