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Regional Workshop for Decision-makers on Groundwater Management

  • Starts: Mar 09, 2017
  • Ends: Mar 10, 2017
  • Location: Marseille, France
  • By: AFD and partners
  • As part of the CMI program on Water Demand Management, a regional workshop on decentralized and participatory groundwater management was organized on March 9-10, 2017 in Marseille by AFD and the World Bank with the co-funding of the MENA Multi Donor Trust Fund, water scarce cities initiative, and GIZ, and a valuable technical partnership and support of FAO and IRSTEA, the French Research Institute on environment and water.


    Groundwater resources are largely overexploited throughout the world and especially in the Mediterranean, mainly for agriculture. Both empirical evidence and the economic theoretical background on common pool resources back participatory and decentralized management solutions, involving users, in the form of "groundwater contracts" as an alternative to market failures leading to the ‘tragedy of the commons’ and often inefficient state management.

    The event concluded a series of national workshops held in Jordan (2011), Morocco (2014) and Tunisia (2015), and an analytical work and research cycle with several publications by AFD, one of which featuring as a background paper to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2017 “Governance and the Law”.

    The workshop was attended by some 30 decision-makers from Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, partners and consultants. It aimed to share knowledge on groundwater governance in the Mediterranean and to work on realistic solutions that could guide public policies and donor funding.

    Presentations on different countries, including the State of California, were confronted with various cases from the North and the South of the Mediterranean and the principles of Elinor Ostrom (‘Nobel Prize for Economics’ 2009) on the management of common property resources. Working groups then explored both the difficulties of implementing the groundwater contracts and the proposed solutions which should go beyond the contracts themselves to deal with the knowledge of the resource and uses, the monitoring of water withdrawals, water governance, institutions, incentives and public policies including in sectors other than water such as energy and land use rights.


    Users’ groups, in addition to their specific role for resource management, have been found an element of social capital capable of carrying out various activities under local development projects embedding, but not limited to, water issues, thus facilitating the resolution of some tricky issues of water management, often involving use restrictions. Users’ organizations also can be a source for proposing policy measures from grass-root level, therefore making those more relevant and acceptable. This may have many implications in the way public policies, the legal framework and institutions of water governance are shaped and implemented.

    Outcomes of the workshop will include a report in the form of a handbook for decision-makers and donors and a synthesis paper to be published in partnership with IRSTEA.


    See also




    Summary Report En/Fr


    Agenda En/Fr


    Speakers' Bios 


    Partcipants' list


    Workshop overview



    Partcipants' Presentations 


    Day 1: Thursday, March 9


    8:45                 Reception and registration of participants

    9:15                 Workshop opening


    Speaker(s): TBD - AFD and WB


    9:30                 Presentations on GW management


    SEMC representatives will present on their track record and current concerns. Presentations will address: problem analysis, solutions development and implementation, achievements to date, successes and failures, and future prospects. The session will end with a benchmarking against a range of Mediterranean examples.


    10-15 minutes presentations for each country followed by Q&A


    Moderator: Mr. Frederic Maurel, AFD


    Azraq (Jordan):


    Mr. Matthieu Baisset, ImagEau: Azraq groundwater physical assessment

    Mr. Alalaween Mufleh, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation: History and cultural background

    Mr. Mohammad Al Atrash, MWI: Concertation process


    Souss Massa (Morocco):


    Mr. Hassan Benabderrazik, Consultant, Gestion de la demande en eau dans le bassin Méditerranéen

    Ms. Amal Talbi, WB, Complements on Oum er Rbia (Morocco) 


    I0:30                Coffee-break


    11:00               Presentations on GW management (ctd)


    Bsisi/el Akarit (Tunisia):


    Mr. Ridha Ghoudi, CRDA Gabes, Gestion participative des nappes souterraines cas de GDA de Bssissi Oued Akarit Gouvernorat de Gabes -Tunisie

    Complements on hydrogeology by Mr. Jean-François Vernoux, BRGM


    Kairouan (Tunisia):


    Ms. Rahma Rahmani, CRDA Kairouan, Projet AGIR


    Los Sotillos (Spain):


    Mr. José María Fernández Ruiz, technical consultant of the Community of Irrigators of Los Sotillos, Groundwater Management in Los Sotillos Community


    Benchmarking against a range of Mediterranean examples:


    Ms. Marielle Montginoul, IRSTEA, Benchmarking against a Range of Mediterranean Examples


    12:30               Lunch

    1:30                 Water management in California: History and lessons learnt


    Mr. Eric Garner, Consultant


    2:00                 Group works


    Participants will be split into 3 to 4 working groups aimed at identifying the main constraints and shortcomings of governance nature that currently prevent or hinder decentralized/participatory GW management. Groups will be provided with a list of issues/questions to address/answer.


    3:00                 Coffee-break

    3:30                 Working group presentations


    Working groups will present on their outcomes, followed by Q&A and discussions. Outcomes will then be confronted with E. Ostrom’s principles for decentralized/participatory management of common pool/common property resources.


    Moderator: Ms. Amal Talbi, WB


    Presentations by working groups and discussions

    Confronting outcomes with E. Ostrom’s principles:


    Mr. Sebastien Loubier, IRSTEA


    4:30                 Synthesis presentations and discussions


    Moderator: Mr. Dominique Rojat, AFD


    Presentations highlighting stakeholders involvement issues, incentives to and conditions for efficient GW management, followed by Q&A and discussions.


    Linking groundwater management and territorial development:


    Mr. Jean-Daniel Rinaudo, BRGM


    A Global Framework for Action to Strengthen Groundwater Governance:


    Mr. Mohamed Bazza, FAO, and Mr. Marcus Wijnen, WB


    6:00                 Wrap up – End of Day 1

    6:30                 Buffet cocktail




    Day 2: Friday, March 10


    9:00                 Kick off and group works


    3 working groups will be set up, each group being asked to identify key principles and practical aspects of decentralized and participatory GW management in one of the following areas:

    • Process: prerequisites with regard to resource, uses and users; involving stakeholders, sequencing actions, negotiating and finalizing contracts and arrangements; dealing with conflicting interests and ensuring a fair negotiation process;
    • Structure: objectives of the contracts; parties to the contracts and management schemes, and their respective roles, mandates and commitments; contents of the contracts; duration and geographic extent;
    • Operation: instruments to be used (incentives, taxes and/or subsidies, quotas, tariffs…); M&E and dispute resolution, ways for amending contracts when necessary; interactions with other sectors and policies.


    - Final Session Questions 


    Each working group will be provided with a template to present its outcomes.


    10:30               Coffee-break

    11:00               Plenary session


    Working groups will present on their outcomes, followed by Q&A and discussions. IFIs’ and donors’ would indicate the way they would finance or support GW management schemes with regard to approaches, tools and commitments from parties and stakeholders.


    Moderator: Marcus Wijnen, WB


    12:30               Lunch

    2:00                 Plenary session


    Wrap-up session - structure of the policy note/guidelines for GW management.


    Moderator: TBD


    4:00                 Closing of the workshop