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Water Demand Management

Status: Completed
  • Lead Organizations

    French Development Agency (AFD) and Plan Bleu.



    Partners include the Mediterranean Water Institute and Tunisia’s National Public Water Supply Utility (SONEDE); ONEMA (French Agency for Water and Wetlands) is a funding partner.



    Water demand in the Mediterranean is increasingly met by over-exploitation of renewable resources and fossil water withdrawals at an increasing financial, social and environmental cost. As an alternative to the prevailing strategies, Water Demand Management (WDM) focuses on the efficient use of the existing water supply. It encompasses measures designed to save water and improve water use efficiency as well as water allocation rules and mechanisms across sectors. 


    Program Objective

    The ultimate goal of the program is regional integration of public policies and management tools in key areas for WDM. Given the variety of water needs and uses, a common language is to be spoken in order to effectively discuss and prioritize WDM options. The program develops an economic approach to WDM and promotes the use of economic concepts and tools to facilitate communication amongst stakeholders and policy-making.


    Selected Results

    • Informed policy/increased capacity: Advances in groundwater resources management. The workshop held in Rabat, Morocco, on March 26-27, 2014, in cooperation with the Center for Financial, Economic and Banking Studies (CEFEB), the training center of the French Development Agency (AFD), marked progress towards aquifer contracts as innovative, decentralized management solutions for overexploited groundwater resources. The workshop facilitated the implementation of the World Bank Green Growth Development Policy Loan in this area. Policy-making and contract design capacity were enhanced, with strong stakeholder involvement, broad press coverage, and potential interest for the whole Mediterranean area.
    • Increased capacity/deepened knowledge: A toolkit for local governments on Water Demand Management (WDM) options. A cost-benefit analysis of a range of WDM options for local governments, including short- and long-term environmental and social impacts as well as opportunity costs and transaction costs, was carried out in the area of Sfax, Tunisia, as a pilot site. The results were discussed at a national workshop held in Tunis on February 19-20, 2014, aimed at knowledge sharing and capacity building. A guidebook for local governments across the Mediterranean was developed as a follow-up.
    • Informed policy/increased visibility of the CMI: A regional workshop on WDM gathering around 100 decision-makers and specialists from 12 Mediterranean countries was held in Murcia, Spain on November 25th 2014 as a side event to the 2nd Mediterranean Water Forum. The workshop allowed for reviewing WDM policies in the region; discussing the results of the CMI program on WDM; and presenting the Foundation Prince Albert II of Monaco Water Think Tank. Achievements of current economic instruments for WDM as well as the potential of innovative tools such as payment for environmental services and water markets were discussed, together with water allocation mechanisms in a multi-sector context. Further knowledge-sharing and capacity building activities will be developed, and the preparation of major projects or budget aids will be facilitated as a result of the workshop.