EMPOWERS.. Where and Why What is EMPOWERS Keywords in EMPOWERS by rrboy


									                                    What is EMPOWERS?
    Editorial                       The Euro-Med Participatory Water Resources Scenarios (EMPOWERS) is a four-year (2003 - 2007)
                                    regional programme in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine.

                                    EMPOWERS is a partnership that seeks to introduce improved local water governance which will
    By: Peter Laban                 lead to better long-term access to water by populations currently suffering from the scarcity of this
    EMPOWERS                        essential natural resource. This Partnership is introducing such improvement through developing
    Regional Coordinator            participatory planning approaches and involving all stakeholders and end-users in the making of
                                    important decisions about water and by enhancing dialogue and concerted actions.
    Water deficits in the Mid-
    dle-East have reached           EMPOWERS works on establishing stronger cooperation between stakeholders, improving multilevel
                                    decision making, and empowering citizens and institutions at intermediate and community levels.
    alarming      proportions.
    All countries experience
                                    Through these efforts EMPOWERS Partnership is promoting local level, Integrated Water Resources
    growing tensions over           Management (IWRM) by which all water uses are to be handled in an integrated manner.
    water resources. Farm-
    ers and irrigation officials    To attain these objectives, EMPOWERS invests a lot of work in building the capacities of local com-
    quarrel over user’s rights,     munities for IWRM, while involving national level stakeholders as to harmonize between local activi-
    urban populations fight         ties and national polices.
    over drinking water with
    municipalities and com-
    pete with farmers who          EMPOWERS.. Where and Why?
    need water for irrigation.
    Countries accuse each          EMPOWERS is implemented in Egypt (Beni Suef Governorate), Jordan (Balqa Governorate) and Pal-
    other of tapping each          estine (Jenin Governorate). These are countries that reflect different water situations in a region with
    others water resources.        increasing conflicts over water. Compared to other countries in the Middle East, Egypt has a relatively
                                   high per capita availability of water. At the other extreme, Jordan and Palestine have some of the
    Scarcities bring conflicts     world’s lowest water percentages.
    that are not easy to re-
    solve. Moreover, the spe-      However, the three countries share lack of stakeholders involvement; suffer from fragmentation of
    cific needs and rights of      responsibilities, centralized and top-down management, intermittent communication and interaction,
    the poor and women are         little autonomy, and overemphasis on troubleshooting; and give no sufficient attention to the needs
    largely ignored. The cur-      and water rights of poor communities.
    rent water crisis calls for
    much more integrated,
    co-ordinated and partici-
                                    Keywords in EMPOWERS Insight
    patory approaches than          • EMPOWERS Partnership                             • Concerted Actions
    are currently practised.        • Integrated Water Resources Management            • Knowledge Community
    Integrated water man-           • Sustainable Development                          • Pilot Project
    agement recognizes that         • MEDA Water Programme                             • IWRM Planning Cycle
    there are many compet-          • Local Water Governance                           • Middle East & North Africa
    ing interests in how wa-        • Stakeholders Dialogue                            • Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.
    ter is used and allocated.
    Such approaches do not
    happen by themselves            In This Issue
    but require expertise and
    capacities to facilitate
                                     Subject                                                                                      Page
    complex processes that
    pro-actively involve all         EMPOWERS Approaches– SDCA and IWRM Planning Cycle                                            3
    these various stakehold-         Progress in Year II                                                                          4
    ers in planning, decision-
    making and implemen-             Regional Events in 2005                                                                      5
    tation of water manage-          “EMPOWERS Participates in the IRC Learning Alliance Symposium”                               6
    ment.                            by Patrick Moriarty, the IRC
                                     “Rights and Local Accountability in Sustainable Water Management” by Pater Laban,            7-9
    This first issue of the EM-
                                     EMPOWERS Regional Coordinator
    POWERS Insight will share
    with you developments            Water Scene in MENA                                                                          10
    and experience in the            MEDA Water                                                                                   11-12
    country programmes in
    Egypt, Jordan and Pales-         WaDImena                                                                                     13
    tine. It informs the reader      Latest News from EMPOWERS Country Programmes                                                 14-16
    of initiatives taken in the
    region and of method-            EMPOWERS Regional Partners                                                                   17
    ologies and new insights         Water Tips                                                                                   18
    developed inside and
    outside EMPOWERS.                Light News and Jokes                                                                         19
                                     Events and Readings                                                                          20

2     Issue 1 October 2005

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