IWRA World Water Congress 2008 Montpellier France
3. Climate Change and Disasters
(1) International Development Research Centre
(2) Arab Water
Council & Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
5th floor, Imbaba, Giza, Postal Code 12666,
Phone: +202 544 - 9420
Fax : + 202 544 - 9470
Water demand management, Middle East and North
Africa, Climate change, adaptive capacity
AbstractThere is now solid evidence of the
changes taking place in the global climate system with impacts on ecosystems, human health and livelihoods. There is
also some evidence that climate change (CC) is exacerbating both water quantity and quality problems, particularly
in water scarce regions which appear to be more vulnerable to weather extreme events such as recurrent and
prolonged droughts. Predictions foresee that the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) will be hit the
hardest by climate change.
Water scarcity in this region is likely to be aggravated by the increasing demand for
water of a rapidly growing population, decreasing renewable water resources and a reduction in water quality. One
study predicts a decline of 1-7% in GDP as a result of CC affects on water resources in MENA . Economic
diversification and the social adaptive capacity could alleviate the social, economic and environmental impact of
water scarcity in specific contexts . We argue that water demand management (WDM) is a strategic adaptive
strategy to the current challenge of water scarcity and will be become more so as climatic variability and change
impacts intensify. We further argue that WDM increases social resilience and contributes to “preparedness policies,”
as opposed to the current “responsiveness-policies” to CC in MENA.
1. Identify the drivers
of change in water policy reform processes;
2. Assess the level of integration of climate change issues
into water policy and the level of integration of water demand management as an adaptive strategy in CC policies.
Using the above knowledge, explore options and opportunities for WDM as an appropriate adaptive management
strategy in the context of CC.
3. Map out the emerging institutions/organizations with a mandate/potential related
to water management and CC preparedness in the region and determine their institutional capacity strengthening
A set of tools will be combined to achieve the above objectives, including two
political economy studies on WDM; an online cross-section survey in 9 countries in MENA involved in the in the
Water Demand Initiative ; two regional policy workshops and a desk review of WDM and CC policy
A better conceptual understanding of WDM as an adaptive strategy to climate
change is articulated and shared at the regional level this knowledge contributes to regional guidelines to integrate
WDM in CC preparedness policies and strategies.