In a region that is severely affected by climate change, population growth and increasing demand on water resources, an urgent need for addressing those challenges has become essential to propose common solutions to better manage water resources in the Arab region. Therefore, the first Arab Water Week was organized in Amman, Jordan from 5-9 December, 2010 by the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA) under the umbrella of the League of Arab States (LAS) and in partnership with the Arab Ministerial Water Council (AMWC) and the Jordanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI).
The Arab Water Week (AWW) entitled “Cost Recovery at Water and Wastewater Utilities: Achievements, Challenges and Solutions”, is the first regional meeting in the Arab region which has tackled water management issues through establishing innovative partnerships and platforms of collaborative work on water issue in the region. Within this partnership context and during the Arab Water Week, IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), a regional center of excellence founded in 2007 to provide a regional advocacy platform for water supply and wastewater utilities in Arab countries.
This partnership is expected to enhance policy debates and coordination within the water supply and sanitation sector of the Arab countries through ACWUA’s network. Whereas IUCN through its Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) will support the development of systemic approaches on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) to enhance the well-being of local livelihoods. The parties will undertake a number of activities in the areas of capacity building on systemic approaches of IWRM, water governance, management tools for shared water resources and policy influence.
ACWUA provides a regional advocacy platform for its members to interact effectively with each other and with governments, private sector suppliers and service providers, as well as foreign aid programs to the mutual benefit of all concerned. It seeks also to build capacity in the sector to ensure an adequacy of trained human resources to operate and maintain existing infrastructure, expand investments and improve overall service quality and delivery. ACWUA provides intellectual leadership and a platform for the advancement of utility management practices by encouraging experience exchange, know-how transfer and the adoption of international best practices in the fields of potable water supply and wastewater management. ACWUA also provides a forum for experience exchange and mutual support to improve its members’ performance, raise service standards, upgrade the utilities’ capacity to recruit and retain qualified staff, attract investments, and develop a legal and regulatory framework to promote the interest of their consumers.
For more information, please contact Fadi Shraideh, IUCN ROWA Deputy Programme Coordinator – Regional Water Resources and Drylands Programme (REWARD) firstname.lastname@example.org