Of the 12 southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, the Blue Plan estimates that eight now annually use more than 50% of their renewable water resources; two of them (the Palestinian Territories and Libya) are already using more than their renewable water resources.
By the year 2025, the Blue Plan estimates that 10 of the 12 countries may be consuming more than 50% of their renewable water resources, with eight of them using more than 100%. Some 70% of Mediterranean water is used for agriculture, much of it for consumption within Europe. Many wetlands have been lost through drainage and diversion (eg. 65% in Greece, 28% in Tunisia).
The scarcity of water is the main restriction to life in the Mediterranean region. When analysing the different predictions on water use in the region, it is evident that the current and future demand is incompatible with the amount of water resources available.
To ensure future water and food security in the Mediterranean, it is essential to adopt modern policies of integrated water management. These include saving and reusing water; recharging aquifers; the protection and restoration of wetlands, forests, and mountain ecosystems; pollution control; and the promotion of an appropriate system of economic incentives that allocates the real value to water resources according to its final use (agriculture, industry, households, etc).
IUCN-Med works mainly on the implementation and promotion of freshwater biodiversity assessments and considerations in management practices across the Mediterranean.
Within the framework of the 2009-2012 Programme, in addition to biodiversity conservation, the main focus of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, work is being carried out to promote adaptation to climate change, the use of clean energies, ecosystem conservation, and the restoration and development of new legislation and adequate policies throughout the Mediterranean basin.