Water Dialogues in the MENA Region – Experiences on Water Conflict Resolution

The project concluded with a very interesting report available online in English and French which describes the project, the three case studies, the conclusions and lessons learnt.

Full documentation on the three sites including general features, reports and meeting minutes are available here.

Sites Participating
  1. Dialogue on the Sustainable Use of the Mnasra Aquifer, Morocco (VIDEO AVAILABLE)
  2. Dialogue on Al Azraq Basin, Jordan
  3. Dialogue on Coastal Lagoons along the Eastern Shore of Cap Bon, Tunisia
Duration2004 – 2009
Lead PartnerInWEnt – Capacity Building International, Germany
PartnersGovernments involved: Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan

German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Arab Water Council


CategoryCapacity Building to resolve issues towards integrated water management
  • To manage water governance issues at local level, context specific projects and aim to resolve conflicts on the use of a common water resource
  • To provide opportunities to local and national actors to build their capacity to resolve issues towards integrated water resources management.
  • All three case studies concerned dialogues at sub-basin level, but of different sizes.
  • The largest geographical area was the dialogue of the Mnasra Auifer concerning about 750 Km2 and about 145 000 people. The experience and lessons presented here may nit be applicable in large river basins or national dialogues.
Conclusions and recommendations
  • The problem relates to a conflict on the use of a common resource (water) and is clearly defined.
  • The problem is likely to have a solution through consultation/dialogue process. Problems that require massive investments or policy reforms are less suitable for dialogues.
  • A dialogue should not be too mall or address a too local of a problem, if it has the ambition to attract national interest and generate political support.
  • Supportive political climate is essential for the success of the dialogue. There must be a champion (or group of champions), to start the process and give political backing and dynamic to it.
  • The sequential approach did not necessarily fit with the dynamic created by participation and the focus of the dialogue on cross-cutting issues. While the initial phasing of the dialogue will be based on the classical ‘project cycles’ steps: Preparation, diagnosis, restitution, planning, local and national validation process, organisers should be aware that the dynamic of a dialogue might require repetition of one or several steps.
  • Do not rely on desk studies only, but make deliberate effort to access and incorporate local knowledge. However, a process of valorisation is required. Start with local knowledge and check it again against scientific assessment.
  • All relevant stakeholders are appropriately engaged and represented. The process allows an honest and open debate.
  • Incentives for participation and negotiation by stakeholders are established (disincentives minimised).

Detailed information on this project can also be found on the giz website.