AWARENET launched Online Seminar Series on Water Integrity with first webinar on the Regulation of the Water Sector in Palestine

Picture1The Global Outlook on Water Integrity estimates that $75 billion of water investments is lost to corruption annually. Promoting water integrity and fighting corruption in the water sector has the potential to dramatically improve human dignity, health and equitable access to water, also vis-à-vis the human right to water supply and sanitation. Integrity consists of choosing to think and act based on values rather than personal gain, thus every stakeholder in the water sector has a role to play in ensuring ethical behavior and create integrity change.

Since 2014, AWARENET collaborates with the Water Governance Facility at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and numerous partners to implement Water Integrity Capacity Building in the Arab region.

This online seminar series is a continuation of the effort to bring more awareness, knowledge and tools to better regulate the water sector in the region. AWARENET specifically tailored the Online Seminar Series on Water Integrity to the Arab region, which consists of four bi-monthly webinars in 2017, a platform for documents and a discussion forum, supported by Cap-Net UNDP through its Virtual Campus.

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Module 1 of the Online Seminar Series: Water Integrity in the Arab Region focused on the experience of the Water Sector Regulatory Council in the State of Palestine, with its CEO Mohamed Said AlHmaidi, and took place on 20 June 2017.

Mr. Al-Hmaidi highlighted that in the State of Palestine, as in most countries in the Arab region, water service providers are struggling to provide a sustainable service. In the State of Palestine alone, around 500 service providers in the water, wastewater and desalination sector exist, each having created their own way of tariff setting. A lack of strategic planning on how to collect the fees leaves providers struggling to maintain the systems, water quality or expand the network, leading to customer discontent and affecting their willingness to pay.

Recognizing the need for reform, the Palestinian Authority, established the Water Sector Regulatory Council in accordance with the Water Law no. 14 of 2014. The WSRC is a financially and administratively independent non-profit institution, which reports directly to the Palestinian Cabinet of Ministers. The WSRC aims to ensure that water and wastewater services are effective, sustainable, and are provided at affordable prices while maintaining the interests of all stakeholders. From this standpoint, the council monitors the performance of service providers through a number of technical, financial, and quality indicators in line with universal practices.

The results of this process are published in a report on The Performance of Water Service Providers in Palestine. The report monitors the performance of service providers and identifies areas and methods for improvement. Continuous data gathering and sharing helps reduce risks by allowing to verifying the data and identifying trends and supports policy decision-making.

The presentation, recording of the session and a discussion forum are available as part of the AWARENET Online Seminar Series on Water Integrity in the Arab Region on the Cap-Net virtual campus. You can still join the Online Seminar Series! To register please send us an email: secretariat@awarenet.info

AWARENET organized Session on Water Regulatory Agencies during the 12th WSTA Gulf Water Conference in Manama, Bahrain, 28-30 March 2017

Countries in the GCC and the Arab region face challenges to provide water for an increasing population and rising demand under prevailing water scarcity. Due to the urgency to improve the financial and water resource management, public water supply and sanitation institutions initiated reforms towards a client-oriented, efficient, and equitable service delivery.

wsta2Water regulators serve as a source of information on the performance of water utilities and systems and as independent price-setting bodies. They monitor the adherence to rules, regulations and service provision and bring regulatory expertise into the public sector, a sector prone to market failures and fragmentation of regulatory responsibilities.

ESCWA and AWARENET organized a Session on "The Role of Regulatory Water Agencies in Efficient Water Management” during the WSTA Twelve Gulf Water Conference. The GCC Unified Water Strategy and Implementation Plan (2016-2035), which was approved recently by the GCC countries identified effective water sector regulation as a main policy to improve governance in the water sector.

The Session took place during a Plenary Session attended by at least 100 participants and the presentation and speeches were followed animated discussion. Adam Torrey, Chair of the AWARENET Water Governance Working Group presented on the importance of a regulatory framework for good water governance. Dr. Mohamed Hassan, Executive Chairman of the Egyptian Water Regulatory Agency shared experiences of their establishment and operation, followed by Mr. Mohamed Said AlHmaidi, CEO of the Water Sector Regulatory Authority (WSRC) in Palestine provided recommendations based on the data collected and procedures implemented by the WSRC since 2014. Examples from the Regulatory and Supervisory Bureau in Abu Dhabi were also provided.wsta3

The Session outcomes included the recommendations to:

  • Ensure that Governments endorse a reform action plan and implementation for a comprehensive institutional and legislative reform in the water and sanitation sector
  • The establishment of strong (capable) and sustainable institutions, including a Regulatory Authority / Council with a legal framework that clearly defines their roles, responsibilities and the interface (relationship) between institutions
  • The importance of monitoring the performance of water service providers to identify and support localities with highest non-revenue water.

In addition to the Session, AWARENET facilitated a consultation with members and experts to explore opportunities for further collaboration.

A more detailed report with case studies will be available here soon.

For more information, please visit: http://awarenet.info/

AWARENET Co-organizes third Water Integrity Training for the Arab Region in Tunis, Tunisia, 7-8 December 2016

The water sector, like many other sectors with large-scale infrastructure projects, public sector involvement as well as high technical complexity and multiple stakeholders, is at risk of corruption. The Global Outlook on Water Integrity estimates that $75 billion of water investments is lost to corruption annually.

Tunis 1Water is indispensable for human health and welfare, therefore corruption in this sector can have extremely harmful consequences. Integrity consists of choosing to think and act based on values rather than personal gain, thus every stakeholder in the water sector has a role to play in ensuring ethical behavior and create integrity change. AWARENET, jointly with GWP-Med, SIWI organized the third Regional Training Course on Water Integrity on 7-8 December 2016 in Tunis, Tunisia, to build the capacity of water managers in applying water integrity tools.

Twenty-one policy-makers from seven countries in the Arab region learnt how to assess integrity risks and applied the water integrity toolbox, including risk reduction and water integrity strengthening tools. The toolbox supports organisations in improving their performance by helping them to make integrity a core part of their business. Participants were equipped with instruments to help them become actors of change for good governance in their institutions.

Tunis 2Data on corruption levels in the Arab region is scarce, however anecdotal evidence suggests a lack of transparency and integrity which undermines effective water governance. Raising awareness and training more stakeholders on how to prevent un-ethical practices and improve the governance of water resource management and service delivery, will lead to transparency and accountability in institutions and the water sector as a whole.

The third Regional Training Course on Water Integrity was organized as part of the “MENA Water Integrity Capacity Building Programme” through its partners GWP-Med, IUCN-ROWA and SIWI, and co-organized with AWARENET, a network of UNDP Cap-Net and UfM.

For more information, please visit: http://awarenet.info/  and 

http://watergovernance.org/programmes/water-integrity/water-integrity-capacity-building-programme-in-mena/

Third E-Learning Series “Water Integrity for Arab Countries” with Dr. Muwaffaq Saqqar, 14 August, 2016

The third E-learning session was held on August 14, 2016 using the Cap-Net Virtual Campus. The series is jointly organized by AWARENET, the Arab Integrated Water Resources Management Network, a Cap-Net Regional Network for Capacity Development in Sustainable Water Management hosted by UN ESCWA, and in cooperation with SIWI and Cap-Net UNDP, and is designed for professionals in the water and environmental sectors in Arab countries interested to learn about approaches to addresses the challenges related to water integrity.
Participants for the second session included professors, engineers and consultants who accessed the learning platform from across the Middle East and North Africa and were able to engage in live discussions with the other attendees. The presenter was Dr. Muwaffaq Saqqar from Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the host was Adam Torrey from The Water Project, and chair
of the AWARENET water governance workgroup. The recording of the presentation is available upon request.

Future sessions are in the process of being scheduled.  More details including times and links will be posted on the new AWARENET website: www.awarenet.info

For more information please contact: awarenet-unescwa@un.org, secretariat@awarenet.info

AWARENET members at World Water Week 2016 in Stockholm

World Water Week 2016 in Stockholm is coming up on 28 August - 2 September 2016! This year's theme is ‘Water for Sustainable Growth’.

The event reprSIWI-WWW-Logo_2015_267x100cesents a great opportunity to meet other AWARENET members, attend their events and discuss potential collaboration.
Therefore, please let us know if you will be attending, so that we can pool the information and send out a list of participants to those who will be there. Send us your Name, Organisation, Events that you are hosting or co-organising, by email to secretariat@awarenet.info and awarenet-escwa@un.org and we will connect you with other AWARENET members that will attend.

Events relevant to IWRM in the Arab Region will take place (a few selected below) as well as events with relevance to AWARENET Working Group Topics, including Water Integrity and Climate Change:

  • Informing the SDGs through the Arab MDG+ initiative by the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association, League of Arab States, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and ESCWA
  • MENA Focus: World Café 2016 / water, growth, stability by the Regional Environmental Center
  • Closing Plenary with speaker Dr. Abdeladim El Hafi, High Commissioner for COP22, High Commissioner for Water, Forestry and Fight Against Desertification, Morocco

You can access the programme for details here: www.worldwaterweek.org and www.worldwaterweek.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2016-WWW-Call-for-registration-web-7.pdf

We hope to hear from you and look forward to connecting you with each other!

AWARENET participated in the workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in Human Settlements Using IWRM Tools, Amman, Jordan – 22-24 May 2016

 

AWARENET Human Settlement participants edit

Six nominated AWARENET members participated in the UN ESCWA and ACWUA Workshop on Climate Change Adaption in Human Settlements Using Integrated Water Resources Management Tools, which took place on 22-24 May 2016 in Amman, Jordan.

The workshop participants discussed assessment tools, policies and measures that can enhance the resilience of human settlements to climate change. The outputs of the regional climate modelling projections developed under the RICCAR project served as a basis for the discussions. The workshop focused on adaptation measures and planning tools for water supply and sanitation infrastructure affected by climate change and extreme weather events, such as floods and landslides. Finally, debates addressed innovative water management tools, appropriate for use in water-scarce environments. AWARENET members presented best practices at national and local level.

The workshop was organized by UN ESCWA and ACWUA as part of the Project on ‘Developing the Capacities of the Arab Countries for Climate Change Adaptation’, which seeks to assist Arab Governments in applying Integrated Water Resource Management tools for climate change adaption. Several other workshops took place as part of this project, addressing the five key sectors of agriculture, economic development, environment, health and human settlements.

For further information please visit: https://www.unescwa.org/events/climate-change-adaptation-human-settlements-using-integrated-water-resources-management-iwrm

AWARENET participated in the UN ESCWA workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in the Economic Development Sector Using IWRM Tools, Amman, Jordan – 25-27 May 2016

Ten nominated AWARENET members participated in the UN ESCWA Workshop on Climate Change Adaption in the Economic Development Sector Using Integrated Water Resources Management Tools, which took place on 25-27 May 2016 in Amman, Jordan.

The workshop focused on the impacts of climate change on water resources and the effects on economic development. Participants discussed how IWRM tools could be incorporated into economic strategies, policies and plans. For example the application of Integrated Assessment Economic Models (IAMs) can estimate the economic cost of climate change based on the regional climate projections. Such information can be drawn upon to support the preparation of national and sector based adaptation and development plans. AWARENET members presented best practices at national and local level.

The workshop was organized by UN ESCWA as part of the Project ‘Developing the Capacities of the Arab Countries for Climate Change Adaptation’, which assists Arab Governments in applying Integrated Water Resource Management tools for climate change adaption. As part of the same project, several other workshops were organized on the five key sectors of agriculture, economic development, environment, health and human settlements.

For further information please visit: https://www.unescwa.org/events/climate-change-adaptation-economic-development-sector-using-integrated-water-resources

Second E-Learning Series “Water Integrity for Arab Countries” with Dr. Abdelrahman Tamimi, 3 May, 2016

The second E-learning session was held on May 3, 2016 using the Cap-Net Virtual Campus. The series is jointly organized by AWARENET, the Arab Integrated Water Resources Management Network, a Cap-Net Regional Network for Capacity Development in Sustainable Water Management hosted by UN ESCWA, and in cooperation with SIWI and Cap-Net UNDP, and is designed for professionals in the water and environmental sectors in Arab countries interested to learn about approaches to addresses the challenges related to water integrity.
Participants for the second session included professors, engineers and consultants who accessed the learning platform from across the Middle East and North Africa and were able to engage in live discussions with the other attendees. The presenter was Dr. Abdelrahman Tamimi from Palestinian Hydrology Group and the host was Adam Torrey from The Water Project, and chair
of the AWARENET water governance workgroup. The recording of the presentation is available upon request.

The next session will be held on August 14, 2016 and the presenter will be Dr. Muwaffaq Saqqar from The Arab Bank. More details including times and links will be posted on the new AWARENET

website: www.awarenet.info

For more information please contact: awarenet-unescwa@un.orgsecretariat@awarenet.info

 

 

AWARENET participated in Workshop on Developing the Capacities of the Health Sector for Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Health from the Climate Change Effects on Freshwater Resources, Amman, Jordan – 19 to 21 April 2016

Nominated AWARENET members participated in the UN ESCWA and WHO Workshop on Developing the Capacities of the Health Sector for Climate Change Adaptation to Protect Health from the Climate Change Effects on Freshwater Resources, Amman, Jordan, 19-21 April 2016.

The workshop was part of a series addressing five key sectors: agriculture, economic development, environment, health, and human settlements. This workshop focused on the health sector.

Further information: https://www.unescwa.org/events/expert-workshop-developing-capacities-health-sector-climate-change-adaptation-protect-health .

AWARENET participated in Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in the Environment Sector Using Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Ecosystem-based Management Tools, Beirut, Lebanon – 22 to 24 March 2016

Five nominated AWARENET members participated in the UN ESCWA and UNEP Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation in the Environment Sector Using Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Ecosystem-based Management Tools, Beirut, Lebanon, 22-24 March 2016.

The workshop is part of a series addressing five key sectors: agriculture, economic development, environment, health, and human settlements. This workshop focused on the environmental sector only.

Further information: https://www.unescwa.org/events/workshop-climate-change-adaptation-environment-sector-using-integrated-water-resources .