2nd Arab Water Forum, Cairo 20-23/11/2011

SONY DSCCEDARE had an active role at the deliberations of the 2nd Arab Water Forum organized by the Arab Water Council in Cairo during the period of November 20-23, 2011, whereby Dr. Khaled AbuZeid, Regional Director for Water, delivered several interventions on Transboundary Water Management, the 2nd State of the Water Report in the Arab Region, the Water MDGs, and the Monitoring and Evaluation program for Water In North Africa (MEWINA) under the umbrella of the African Ministers Council On Water (AMCOW). One of the main recommendations coming out of these interventions, includes the importance of embracing the River Basin/Green-Blue Water approach rather than the Watercourse/Blue Water approach in transboundary river basin management an its associated regional and international legal frameworks which also calls for the amendment of the 1997 UN Convention for the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses.

Other recommendations include the need to regularly issue the Arab State of the Water Report to monitor trends and changes in the water sector in the Arab countries, such as those highlighted by the recent shift in allocation percentages from agriculture to drinking and industrial uses accompanied by the increase in virtual water imports due to increasing population demand. The 2nd Arab State of the Water report again in its second series presented national green and blue water assessment which was advocated as an important tool for assessing renewable water resources as compared to the traditional way of assessing renewable water resources as just the surface water and rechargeable groundwater. Recommendations that came out highlighted the need to close the knowledge gap between the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) methodology and the utilities methodology for assessing water supply and sanitation coverage and the water MDGs, and the need to look beyond and address the MDGs+ including the quality of water, the quality of service, and the level of treatment. Further recommendations called for the need to harmonize the water indicators used for reporting on the State of the Water at the Pan-African Level, and at the Arab Region level, and eventually at the Global level.