Innovations in groundwater governance in the MENA region
This report is based on a seminar on innovations in groundwater governance in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Region during the World Water Week in Stockholm 2008. It demonstrated that there are lots of innovative activities being tried and tested in the region, for example in managing groundwater better at the local, national and cross border level, increasing the efficiency of use, creating new water, monitoring, decision support systems, and building management and business skills.
Innovative concepts in groundwater management in the MENA region is developing due to the growing need to manage the resource better for sustaining livelihoods. It became obvious during the MENA Seminar at the 2008 World Water Week in Stockholm that many institutions, organisations, researchers, engineers and others engaged in the water situation in the region produce many innovative solutions to improve groundwater management. To utilise this innovative capacity it is important to share good experiences and to have a well trained workforce and institutions that can capitalise on the new thinking.
The governance structures must also be open to new approaches and new techniques. The creativity shown in the region to deal with the urgent issue of improving groundwater management gives hope. The obstacles identified in implementing these innovations are presently lack of funding, political unwillingness, regional instability, as well as lack of knowledge of the aquifers.