Water resources management must be carried out on a regional scale by using a participatory and collborative approach, said participants in the last panel of the 5th Mediterranean Forum held on Wednesday in Tunis.
Faced with almost similar water-related problems in all the Mediterranean countries and with the constraints of climate change weighing on every country in the region, the participants stressed the need to seize these constraints as opportunities to develop territorial projects and “turn them into something positive”.
They further called for proactive rather than pre-active action in the face of natural disasters such as drought and flooding. Some called for a rethink of urban planning in the face of flooding.
Speakers on behalf of the Arab region warned of water losses in irrigation systems, estimated at 100 billion m3 per year. They felt that more funding needed to be mobilised to make irrigation systems more efficient before embarking on very costly solutions.
For the Mediterranean people, wh
ether on the southern or northern shores, the water sector must be given priority in all strategies, because water security also means food and national security.
Among the avenues to be explored to solve specific water issues, some speakers called for the development of two major areas: small-scale water supply in urban and rural areas, and making the most of every m3 of rainwater.
There is also need to develop early warning systems and set up pilot projects in each country, as well as action plans for crisis management, adopting preventive approaches within a context of sharing and consultation at the regional level.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse