Public Engagement in Water Management in the MENA region – PEWM

The “Public Engagement in Water Management” (PEWM) is a project funded by the World Bank, and managed by the Arab Water Council.
The participating Arab countries are: Egypt, Morocco, Tunis, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, and Lebanon. The Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim AbdEl Al (AFIAL) is in charge of the implementation of the project in Lebanon.

1. Achieve water security for sustainable development, and economic and   social growth of the Arab people, through the Integrated Water Resources   Management (IWRM)
2. Raise the level of awareness of water problems and issues, and the   importance of cooperation between stakeholders
3. Support the role of civil society in monitoring water use
4. Facilitate the dialogue between the civil society and the responsible for   water management

The PEWM project is divided into two main components:
1- Component one: Baseline diagnosis of water governance indicators
    a. Analysis of current monitoring indicators of water use and water         management in the region
    b. Development of a regional network of water management indicators
    c. Creation of Web library of benchmark data
2- Component two: Strengthening civil society involvement in assessing their     country's water service performance
    a. Creation of a civil society – government dialogue about water         management, policies and programs
    b. Strengthening public participation and engagement in water         management
    c. Action plan to improve information flow for civil society participation in         water management
    d. Creation of a National Committee representing the different sectors

AFIAL activities
1. Creation of a national website:
    o The PEWM project website contains information about water in the Arab        World in general, and is divided into 7 sub-sites containing information        specific to each of the 7 participating countries. The following online        testing version is available to the public:
    o AFIAL appointed a web-developer to attend the technical training course        organized by the Arab Water Council, in Egypt, for the 7 participating        countries.
2. Creation of a National Committee: A multi-stakeholders National Committee     was created representing public and private sectors, including media and     academic representatives. 4 preparatory meetings were held to assess the     indicators and suggest new source of data.
3. Workshops:
    o Using a participatory approach, AFIAL and the National Committee       organized the first interactive workshop which included a wide range of       prepresentatives from different sectors, to discuss and evaluate the       indicators.
    o A second workshop was organized to finalize the indicators, and present       recommendations to strengthen the involvement of the civil society in       the water management.

ACLIMAS (2011 – 2014)

Adaptation to Climate Change of the Mediterranean Agricultural Systems (ACLIMAS) is a demonstration project under the framework of the regional program Sustainable Water Integrated Management: Support Mechanism (SWIM – SM), funded by the European Union.
The participating countries are: Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, coordinated by the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) – Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo of Bari (IAMB).
Nationally, the project is implemented by the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI) in partnership with the Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim AbdEl Al (AFIAL), and supervised by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR – ISAFOM) – Italy.

Overall Objectives
The ACLIMAS overall objective is to bring a durable improvement in the agricultural water management and a broader economic development, by promoting the adaptation of Mediterranean agricultural systems to climate change through a multidisciplinary integrated approach that combines improved genotypes, locally-tailored land and water management techniques.

Specific Objectives
- Setup the initial conditions for lasting promotion of sustainable agricultural   practices
- Demonstrate the applicability for the selected combinations of genotypes   and water management practices
- Adapt/stabilize agricultural production through large scale on-ground   implementation
- Evaluate the on-ground sustainability of the proposed adaptation measures
- Train local farmers on the proposed management practices
- Disseminate the results of the action

AFIAL Activities
AFIAL will provide technical support on the project in cooperation with LARI, through the different stages of the project implementation.
AFIAL will organize field trips and training courses for farmers, technicians, and water managers, to:
- Disseminate the outcomes from the experimental and demonstration   activities.
- Provide technical assistance on the questions and answers (Q&A) for the   involved farmers and stakeholders, in order to upgrade their technical know-   how capacity.


During December 2011, the UNIFIL, in cooperation with Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al (AFIAL) and local municipalities, organized an awareness campaign on the blue line in Southern Lebanon. The campaign’s main aim was to educate the public about conservation and protection of water resources.

Target groups/ beneficiaries: 24 Public Intermediate High Schools along the blue line (initially along the BL and subsequently across UNIFIL’s Area of Operation).

Project Objective(s)

  • Raise public awareness on the most critical water issues, such as conservation and protection of water resources.
  • Educate and instill in the youngsters new habits and behavior aimed at preserving water resources.
  • Promote the participation of the young generation in eco -friendly activities aimed at promoting the conservation, protection and prudent use of water resources.
  • Stren4. Strengthen closer collaboration with local communities and civil society
Expected impact on the target groups:
  • Qualitative Indicators: Improvement in awareness, behavior and attitude of water users.
  • Quantitative Indicators:
    • Water conservation strategies taught during the campaign are implemented at least in the schools.
    • Improved health of village residents due to reduction in water pollution.
    • Reduced consumption of water in the villages resulting in fewer shortages.
Expected results:
  • Environmental awareness of students and residents raised
  • Reduced health hazards due to water pollution.
  • Youth are sensitized and aware of water scarcity and pollution.
  • Youth are more environmentally involved and actively participate in eco friendly activities/initiatives in their region.
  • Good cooperation is developed and relations established between youth groups belonging to different communities/village for sharing of best practices on the issue of water preservation and conservation.
  • Improvement in awareness, behavior and attitude of water users.
The local municipalities and community members were very enthusiastic and are keen in supporting the project and will facilitate the activities of the youths in forming environmental committees in their village, thereby contributing to future development of sustainable and eco friendly projects.

Hydro Agricultural Development Project in Marjeyoun Area

The initial project is the “Canal 800” project on the Litani River, which is a series of distribution networks designed to provide water for irrigation from the “Qaroun” Dam in West Bekaa to an area of about 15,000 hectares south of the Litani River in South Lebanon.

The “Hydro Agricultural Development Project of Marjeyoun” is a pilot project on the Canal 800 that will establish the methodology to be followed for implementing canal 800.

It will set the infrastructure for the distribution network, will show the advantages and efficiency of modern irrigation techniques, will propose the new cropping patterns in the region with their socio-economic impact, and will support the establishment of a very much needed Water Users Association. The project will have a direct impact on the livelihood of the local communities affected by the July 2006 war on Lebanon by extending the areas suitable for agriculture and will provide direct assistance to the farmers through providing them with wheat seeds, or other field crops, to be cultivated on their lands for two consecutive years.

The project covers an area of approximately 522 hectares in the “Marjeyoun” North Perimeter, and specifically targets the towns of “Burghos”, “Blat”, “Dibbine”, “Ibl Essaki”, and “Jdaydit Marjeyoun”. More than 1,259 farmers are expcted to benefit from the project activities.

This project is funded by the Government of Spain through the Lebanon Recovery Fund (LRF) that was established shortly after the 2006 war on Lebanon. The United Nations Development Programme (UND P) is managing the funds and implementation of this project in close collaboration with the national partners, the Litani River Authority and the Foundation of the Friends of Ibrahim Abd El Al, which initiated the project. AFIAL is responsible for the creation, preparation of legislation, and implementation of the Water Users Association.


The Foundation is partner in the Mediterranean Dialogue on Framing Sustainability in Water Policy Evaluation – SWAP.

The project intends to stimulate communication and dialogue on the problem of policy evaluation in the Mediterranean agricultural water sector and the need of developing a regional and generalized frame of variables and indicators for participatory policy evaluation.

Having national or regional policies aligned towards sustainability is worth to enhance sustainable development of the water sector in the entire region. In order to ensure sustainable development of water sector, evaluation of policy implementation must take into account the main international principles, the real societal needs accounting goals and indicators of sustainability raised in a participatory process.
The main objective of the project is to contribute to the strengthening of knowledge and assessment capability in water policy making and implementation in a Mediterranean context. This main objective will contribute to improving Euro-Mediterranean policy alignment towards sustainability, supporting the more general European strategy of sustainable development.
Another important contribution will be given to the further alignment of future cooperative research projects towards sustainable development and to water management in its whole.

AFIAL’s tasks in the project were:

Identification and selection of stakeholders
Contacting stakeholders and verifying availability
Building fora
Preparation of questionnaires for stakeholder analysis
Elaboration of survey results
Local meeting for project presentation, discussion of stakeholders analysis, and defining fora agenda
Conveying stakeholders in meetings and guide discussion
Stimulating stakeholders in making more explicit the economic, social, environmental and institutional priorities to which the policy under evaluation is specifically targeted
Defining of sustainability goals and indicators that are more relevant for the community involved in the policy implementation
Assessing the effective availability of data and information to measure the indicators
A time table for the data collection and elaboration
Collecting and analyzing of information and data monitor achievement of goals according to indicators.
Conveying the fora in a cycle of local meeting for discussion of ongoing work for validating the work
Preparing recommendations for policy-makers and politics
Reviewing evaluation policy results including perspectives and recommendations


Another project the Foundation is involved as a sub-contractor for the Litani River Authority (LRA) is Science-Policy Interfacing in support of the Water Framework Directive implementation (SPI-Water)-
WISE-RTD, a web-portal developed by the SPI, forwards to websites that contain information relevant for the implementation of the European Water Framework.

The SPI-Water’s objectives are the following:

  1. Analysis and evaluation of projects in the field of river basin management that are of potential use for the WFD implementation.
  2. Dissemination activities through the use of a science-policy interfacing instrument in the context of the development of WFD river basin management plans.
  3. Development of EU Water Initiative/WFD joint process activities for facilitating the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management principles in non EU countries.

AFIAL’s tasks in the project:

  1. Detailed GIS Maps and reference data on the subjects:
    Geographical limits of Water Authorities mandates in Litani River Basin (LRB)
    LRA gauging stations location
    Defining LRB sub-catchments
    Forest cover and change in LRB
    Settlement distribution within LRB
    Main aquifers in LRB

  2. Data collection on the subjects:
    Environmental and water legal framework
    Domestic and industrial water demands in LRB
    Protected areas in LRB

  3. Researching the following:
    Existing and planned LRA irrigation projects
    Hydrological structures of LRA
    Roads in LRB
    Solid waste disposal sites
    Major sources of sewage in the basin
    Flood prone areas
    Queries in the basin
    Water bodies in the basin