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Center for Mediterranean Integration
The Mediterranean region is the most water scarce region in the world and one of the most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events, which are fuelling regional instability and migration. However, the region also has considerable potential for climate change mitigation and adaptation, which are a common concern for its future.
Combating water scarcity and supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Mediterranean region could be conducive to job creation and entrepreneurship, particularly among Mediterranean youth, with clear knock-on effects on regional instability deriving from unemployment, disenfranchisement and migration.
Targeting youth through capacity-building and green entrepreneurship opportunities revolving around water is therefore a key means to leverage untapped youth potential in the region with positive socio-economic and environmental outcomes.
Creation and Maintenance of the CMI-managed MedYWat Network
The Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) launched the Mediterranean Youth for Water (MedYWat) network in April 2017 through the annual CMI World Water day workshop series. MedYWat targets young Mediterranean water professionals (aged 18-35) who are determined to tackle water-related issues in the region by amplifying the voice of youth in the regional water agenda.
Today, MedYWat’s is the only Mediterranean Youth water network involving young water researchers, entrepreneurs and activists from both rims of the Mediterranean to network, share knowledge, collaborate, engage in capacity-building and influence water policies in their countries of origin and the region.
With CMI’s support, the network generates and shares knowledge leading to the preparation of each World Water day (Water and Migration 2019; Water and Nature-Based Solutions 2018; Treated Wastewater Reuse and the Circular Economy 2017) in collaboration with leading international senior water experts. The MedYWat network counts over 150 members, representing 15 nationalities from across the Mediterranean and composed of 75% female members.
Regular Water Hub meetings are being held with the CMI Water Program partners since 2016 to set up a multi-partner regional agenda and ensure ongoing exchanges and joint programming between Water Hub partners (AFD, CIHEAM, GIZ, EIB, Plan Bleu and World Bank) and observers (Switch-Med, GWP-Med, World Water Council UfM, IOM, FAO, CEWAS Middle East and others).
The hub thereby contributes to increased collaboration and integration on water issues in the water-scarce Mediterranean region, while taking into account best practices and experiences from around the world.
“How do we see our Water Future?” – Strategic planning in Tunisia
The national workshop held in Tunis, Tunisia in December 2015 took place in an evolving governance context, with the finalization of the new Water Code and the reform of water users’ associations. Some of the country’s successful experiences in groundwater management showed a potential for replication in other regions of Tunisia. Furthermore, many of the situations and solutions discussed at the workshop are of interest for the whole MENA area and will be shared region-wide.
“Water Demand Management for beginners” and advanced decision makers
Following two synthesis papers in early 2015, a research paper and a technical report with case studies were released by AFD on the management of groundwater resources as common goods. The research paper will be an input to the forthcoming WDR 2017 “Governance and the Law”.
“Dealing with Water Scarcity through Desalination, Non-Revenue Water Reduction and Public Private Partnerships” with the World Bank Water Global Practice and CMI Partners, 12-14 December 2016, Villa Valmer, Marseille
This workshop gathered water desalination experts, government representatives, development agencies, international financial institutions and private actors to take stock of the potential of desalination for increasing water security in the Mediterranean, as well as the ways in which it can be coupled to renewable energy sources to increase its sustainability. Furthermore, the financial sustainability of desalination projects was discussed through presentations on several desalination and renewable energy Public Private Partnerships in the Mediterranean and other best practices from around the world.
CMI launched the “Mediterranean Water Heroes” contest (in collaboration with the World Bank and Wamda), which offered young water researchers, entrepreneurs and activists from around the Mediterranean the opportunity to showcase their innovative work on wastewater and the circular economy during the “Youth Innovating with Wastewater for a Sustainable Mediterranean” workshop in March 2017.
Winners of the contest were invited to present their work at the World Water Day event and received sponsored registration to Stockholm World Water Week (August 2017) to represent the Med Water Youth Network.
This youth-focused workshop gathered Mediterranean youth and technical experts working in the wastewater field to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing treated wastewater reuse in the region.
It stimulated inter-generational and regional knowledge exchange on treated wastewater reuse through plenary presentations, team activities and collective brainstorming sessions ranging from the technical to the economic opportunities and social impacts of wastewater reuse, and resulted in the launch of the MedYWat (Mediterranean Youth for Water) Network.
Water and Sanitation services are essential humanitarian needs during both peace and instability situations. Utilities and service providers should therefore be well prepared for crisis situations with improved institutional capacity, training and systems. This workshop exchanged knowledge and experiences to improve their readiness to meet crisis challenges and maintain service provision to their populations.
Its objective was to understand utilities’ needs during crises, share lessons, drive innovation, and influence policy to better meet the needs of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host community needs.