Mediterranean dialogue on framing Sustainability in WAter Policy evaluation

Place: Not Applicable, _NO_MAIN_REGION
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 0,00 | Period: From July 2007 To July 2009


To contribute to the strengthening of knowledge and assessment capability in water policy making and implementation in order to better orient policy development towards sustainability.


Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari - Italy

Lead applicant

L'Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari-IAMB è la struttura operativa italiana del CIHEAM, istituito con Legge 932/1965 ed opera in 4 aree tematiche: - Gestione del suolo e delle risorse idriche; - Protezione integrata delle colture frutticole mediterranee; - Agricoltura biologica mediterranea; - Agricoltura, alimentazione e sviluppo rurale sostenibili. La formazione continua prevede corsi di aggiornamento anche a distanza rivolti a giovani dell’Area Mediterranea, Balcanica e del Vicino Oriente. L’Istituto svolge inoltre attività di ricerca applicata per migliorare la qualità della formazione con il coinvolgimento diretto dei corsisti nella ricerca e garantire un valido supporto alla progettazione e realizzazione di iniziative di partenariato. L’IAMB assiste le istituzioni, sia a livello centrale sia locale, per l’identificazione, la formulazione e l’esecuzione di progetti di cooperazione nei Paesi mediterranei al fine di promuovere la sicurezza alimentare e lo sviluppo sostenibile.

The Litani River Authority - Lebanon

Initiative partner

Implement the Litani irrigation, drying, drinking water and electricity projects. -Establish a network linking up power stations in Lebanon. -Establish electrical substations and distribution lines in all the Lebanese regions. -Invest in the different parts of the project at both the technical and the administrative levels

Phyto Consulting (Morocco) - Morocco

Initiative partner

Phyto Consulting is a firm specializing in coaching, training, upgrading, agricultural studies, agri-food projects, feasibility studies, Environmental impact studies and strategic analysis.

Technical University of Madrid, - Spain

Initiative partner

The Technical University of Madrid is the largest Spanish technological university as well as a renowned European institution. With two recognitions as Campus of International Excellence, it is outstanding in its research activity together with its training of highly-qualified professionals, competitive at an international level.

Plan Bleu pour l'environnement et le développement en Méditerranée - France

Initiative partner

The objective of the Plan Bleu Regional Activity Centre is to contribute to raising awareness of Mediterranean stakeholders and decision makers concerning environment and sustainable development issues in the region, by providing future scenarios to assist in decision-making. In this respect and through its dual functions as an observatory of the environment and sustainable development and a centre for systemic and prospective analysis, the PB/RAC’s mission is to provide the Contracting Parties with assessments of the state of the environment and development of the Mediterranean and a solid basis of environmental and sustainable development data, statistics, and indicators to support their action and decision making process.

The project idea was to stimulate communication and dialogue on the sustainability evaluation of policy in the Mediterranean agricultural water sector and the need of developing a regional and generalised frame of variables indicators for a participatory evaluation of policy sustainability.

The main innovation produced is the creation of multi - stakeholders forum in three case selected studies. The Forum had the key role in activating and stiumulating local participatory process on sustainability assessment. 

Meeting for sharing evaluation and opinion Meeting for sharing evaluation and opinion

Water policies and management of water resources are important issues in the sustainable development of many areas in the Mediterranean, with particular regard to policy and management of agricultural waters (the agricultural sector using 70% in average of natural waters in the region). In the last two decades several Mediterranean countries have undergone to a period of remarkable changes in their policies, particularly the ones governing the water sector.
Policy evaluations (sector and integrated) are fragmented and often not well harmonised with concepts of sustainability, though water policy evaluations are in general more comprehensive than evaluations in other sectors and include the sustainability perspective. Nonetheless the regional Euro-Mediterranean dimension includes some challenges and concerns that have not been incorporated in previous policy evaluations.


Duero river Duero river - one of the project target areas
Lebanon - one of the project target areas Lebanon - one of the project target areas
Project target area Project target area
Project target area Project target area
Tadla Region - Morocco Tadla Region - Morocco - one of the project target areas
Target project area Target project area

 An improved knowledge of the state-of-art regarding evaluation of policy implementation:

- a well established local public discourse (in selected case-studies) on water
policy evaluation and established participatory policy analysis through local
multi-stakeholder Fora
- the dissemination of results beyond the local Fora
- improved awareness of policy makers and politics on the need of linking policy
implementation with societal and local needs and with the criteria of

 The project enhanced the capacity to assess water policy at local and central level of different beneficiaries such as farmers association, water authority, water boards, societal groups, decision makers, policy makers, environmentalists. 

The staff,  well balanced between European and MPC countries, was composed by researchers from International and National  organisation, consultants for agricultural sector ,  water basin authority representatives and members of non governmental organisations .
Doctor Alessandra Scardigno, researcher at CIHEAM - IAM.B in the Land and Water resources Dept., was the coordinator of the project.

A forum of relevant local stakeholders A forum of relevant local stakeholders was created at each selected case study areas - Duero basin (Spain), Tadla plain (Morocco) and Qasmieh Ras-el Ain Project (Lebanon)

Unexpected difficulties were encountered in data collection activities to be carried out in the three case studies.  An extension of the project was asked and obtained in order to overcome the problem.

Raising public participation and awareness on water policy assessment and development were key tasks of SWAP through involvement in each pilot area of a multi-stakeholder group.  Project actions contributed to frame local water policies into the regional dialogue on water and sustainability aiming at
• Stabilize water demand through the reduction of water losses and the wasteful use of water (a reduction in demand in the North and controlled increases in the South and the East) and increase the added value per cubic metre of water used. (it must not be considered as an economic concept only but it can also cover social, environmental or cultural values)
• Promote the integrated management of watersheds, including surface and groundwater and eco-systems.
• Achieve the Millennium Development Goals concerning access to safe drinking water and sanitation: water as a human right, reduction of poverty and promote food security

• Promote participation, partnership and solidarity 

The SWAP indicators for sustainable development proposed by the 3 case studies can be a basis for the future international debate on sustainability indicators based on local participatory process. 
Comparing the three case studies results it is possible to draw some conclusions useful for the transferability of the method applied and the results on the evaluations:
 Notwithstanding the difficulties to  quantify some of the selected indicators, they remained in the list since the Local Fora considered them important to assess the contribution of the policy to the achievement of some relevant objectives.
 It was very difficult for the Stakeholders to identify indicators for the inter linkages between dimensions that represent a very crucial issues for any sustainability evaluation.
 Both economic and institutional dimensions mark a positive results in all the three case studies, while different performance had the environmental indicators.

For the efficient dissemination of information within the working structure, a document server – based on www technology – has  been installed. The WEB was organised in a way that external parties can get access to:
a) general information regarding water policies;
b) aggregated information and knowledge derived from project activities and results obtained.
Local partners, in pilot areas and the surrounding areas, were responsible to disseminate results beyond the locally involved stakeholders, through meetings and circulation of easy to read documents. A WEB link will be also established with other relevant projects. 

Project Leaflet Project Leaflet in arabic language
../file-system/small/page ../file-system/small/page Poster - Final Conference Final Conference - Framing Sustainability in Water Policy Evaluation