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

Sharing knowledge, raising awareness, and debating

All the knowledge and know how developed in the technical components need to be tested, discussed, and validated with multiple stakeholders at local, country, regional, and international level. Below you will find illustrated the efforts done at a regional level and international level across the project.

  • Stakeholder engagement around the issue of sustainable management of water is building up fast in the NENA region. Strong partnership is developing at technical level between the ministries in charge of water, irrigation and agriculture within the eight countries of the project: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Iran. An estimated 2000 people across the eight countries have been engaged directly or very closely in the project so far – including 250 farmers at field level and an average of 450 professional women in public institutions, research or partner NGOs. National focal points from the eight countries contributed actively with content and debates in two high level regional events: the Land and Water Days, and the Regional Water Productivity Conference. Furthermore, the project contributed actively with technical sessions, side events or plenary presentations to six main international and regional events that reached out to a cumulative 4000 people.


Details on the events are provided thereafter:


Cairo Water Week: A large water event that targets practitioners, academics, development agencies and policy makers. It gathers about 2000 participants. The project contributed in this event with the following:

  • Technical session on “Building a smart water future: count and account for water” was presented by FAO, MWRI, IHE Delft, and SIDA. The session was attended by a large public of around 200 participants.
  • Technical session on “Count and account for scarce water: build a sustainable water future” was presented by FAO, MWRI Egypt, EUWater STARS Project, IHE, IWMI, and SIDA.
  • Technical session on “Water accounting for enhanced water productivity and drought management” was presented by FAO, IWMI, and USAID. One hundred participants attended and five cases studies were discussed including Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Iran.
  • A training workshop on advanced water accounting was organized for water accounting analysts by FAO, IHE, IWMI, and MWRI.
  • A community of practice on water accounting known as the D-group was established and led by FAO-RNE. The group is open to anyone people interested in water accounting, and gathers around 700 people.
  • A technical session on “More food and better life per water drop – saving, efficiency and productivity of water for sustainable agriculture” was presented by FAO, UCO, and SIDA. The session was attended by a large public of around 200 participants.
  • A technical session on “Water productivity as the cornerstone of water-limited food production” was presented by FAO, IFPRI, ICARDA, and SIDA.
  • A technical session on “Water productivity as the cornerstone of water-limited food production" was presented by FAO, UCO, IWMI, ICARDA and IFPRI and discussed both field level water productivity and water productivity along the value chain. The session was attended by a large public of around 200 participants.
  • A technical session on “Solar powered irrigation benefits and risks” was presented by FAO, GIZ, and SIDA.


The Near East and North Africa Land and Water days (LWD): The event was convened to review the progress made in addressing water scarcity in the region, foster exchange of knowledge and experience among countries and partners and chart the way forward taking into account the lessons learned, the new challenges to and opportunities for sustainable development. The LWDs consisted of two segments: The technical and high level expert meeting and the Ministerial Meeting led by the League of Arab States. The event gathered about 450 participants for the technical sessions. The project contributed in this event with the following:

  • A side event around the topic “Counting and accounting for water” was presented by FAO, and SIDA. Thirty participants attended and six case studies were discussed including Egypt and Palestine.
  • Introduction Training on use of remote sensing for crop mapping, ET estimates and measuring water productivity was attended by 50 participants, and presented by FAO, WFP, and SIDA.
  • A team of five project team members followed all the LWDs through a gender lens and contributed to a gender report in the final session.
  • A technical session on “Cross-sectoral coordination and policy coherence: nexus approach” was presented by FAO, MoA of Morocco, MWRI of Jordan, and SIDA. The session gave the opportunity to learn from two countries’ experiences (Morocco and Jordan), and discuss concrete ways to move from concepts to practical action on the nexus and develop innovative strategies, policy measures and governance arrangements for policy coherence for sustainable development. It was organized as a participatory event and gathered about 50 participants.
  • An introductory training on nexus water-food-energy tools was presented by FAO, SEI, KTH, and SIDA.
  • The project participated in the LWDs market place, where a presentation of the nexus activity was given by the KTH and SEI team.


The World Irrigation Forum: This is an event organized by the International Commission for Irrigation and Drainage, and provided a platform for the world irrigation community and interested development professionals to find solutions to problems plaguing the irrigated agriculture, in time of depleting freshwater resources as a result of global warming and climate change. It gathered about 3000 people.

  • A presentation and paper under the name ‘Count and Account Water for Agricultural sustainability in the NENA region” was presented and discussed.
  • A presentation and paper under the name ‘Drops, Watts and Crops – the Water Productivity Challenges” was presented and discussed.
  • A presentation and paper under the name ‘Managing complexity for sustainability: experience from governance of water-food-energy nexus” was presented and discussed.  


The Regional Conference on Improving Water Productivity: The aim of the conference was to bring together experts working on improving water productivity from different perspectives to debate how WP improvements can reinforce agriculture sustainability as well as promoting economic development, maintaining social stability and protecting the environment in rural areas and cities. It gathered about 300 participants.

  • This conference was the closing meeting of FAO project «Setting a collaborative platform on water productivity for the WSI” TCP/RAB/3602.
  • FAO organized a regional training on soil salinity mapping with the GSP, a Tunisian training on WaPOR application with the WaPOR project, a regional information session on rapid water accounting, a regional training on evapotranspiration measurement with ICARDA as well as an expert meeting on Aquacrop.
  • The conference hosted the final selection of a hackathon on smart water management with Technopole Manouba and a market place on the same topic.

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