Water efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the NENA regions (WEPS-NENA)


The Near East and North Africa (NENA) region, already exposed to chronic shortage of water, will face in the coming decades a severe intensification of water scarcity due to several drivers, including demographic growth and its related food demands, urbanization, energy demand and overall socio-economic development. Furthermore, the NENA region is experiencing more frequent, intense extreme events (in particular droughts) as a consequence of climate change.

The recently agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires evidently a ‘transformational’ change in managing strategic resources, such as water, land and energy. The countries of the region need to strategically plan their water resources management and allocation, review their water, food security and energy policies, formulate effective investment plans, modernize governance and institutions and account for transboundary surface and groundwater.

Good practices need to be adopted to ensure alignment with the imperatives of (i) setting the sustainable limits of water consumption and (ii) making the best use of each single drop of water, including the use of non-conventional water sources.

The project aims to contribute to the transformational change and strategic planning by assessing (i) the efficiency and productivity of different water uses, (ii) the risks that attempts to increase water efficiency or productivity for someone will result in someone else’s reduced access or higher water consumption and pollution, (iii) the ‘sustainable operational boundaries of water use’.

The adoption of an analytical framework on the water-food-energy-climate-ecosystem nexus will be instrumental to such strategic planning since agriculture, water and energy strategies and policies are still developed, to a significant extent, ‘independently’.

This project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).



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