Managing Water Demand: Policies, Practices, and Lessons from the Middle East and North Africa

Managing Water Demand: Policies, Practices, and Lessons from the Middle East and North Africa

Managing Water Demand: Policies, Practices, and Lessons from the Middle East and North Africa

Managing Water Demand: Policies, Practices, and Lessons from the Middle East and North Africa

Synopsis

Water Demand Management (WDM) is about governance

Excerpt

The vast arid and semi-arid regions of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) constitute 85% of the region's land area and are home to approximately 60% of the region's population. Limited water resources pose severe constraints on people's economic and social progress, testing their resilience and threatening their livelihoods. Rainfall is not only scarce and unpredictable, but the region is also subject to frequent and severe droughts. Available surface water is declining and the over-pumping of groundwater beyond natural recharge rates is occurring, lowering the water table and causing an increase in groundwater salinity and ecological degradation. Water quality is also declining, as more volumes of untreated effluents are produced and dumped into fresh water bodies or onto land, making their way eventually to groundwater aquifers. All of this has tremendous implications on the health and well being of a large number of women, men and children; especially the marginalized and vulnerable poor. in these dry regions, the poor mostly consist of agro-pastoralists and small farmers whose household food security and livelihood depends, fundamentally, on water. Large farmers who grow cash crops are also affected. Poor water quantity and quality is equally devastating in . . .

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