The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the most water-scarce region in the world. This report, published by The Brookings Institution, identifies and describes the available water resources in this region. The report aims to ignite discussions on the environmental and socio-economic factors that impact water supply and to delineate strategies for MENA countries to improve their water management. It sheds light on various policy options in water governance and features the following case studies: the Tigris-Euphrates basin, the Nile basin, and a side-by-side consideration of water stewardship in Yemen and Oman.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and USAID have collaborated to produce a reference guide on water reuse. This guide presents a framework for developing geographically specific regulations and guidelines, both domestically and internationally. Topics covered in the guide include regional variations of water reuse in the United States, advances in wastewater treatment technologies relevant to reuse, best practices for involving communities in planning projects, international water reuse practices, and factors that will encourage the expansion of safe and sustainable water reuse. The report looks at over 100 case studies from around the world that highlight the various applications of water reuse. Over 300 reuse experts and stakeholders contributed to the report.
The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), a policy institute devoted to promoting and disseminating knowledge about improved water decision-making and sustainable development, has launched a new website. The new site contains up-to-date information about World Water Week 2013, which is organized annually by the institute. The site also features a new five-year strategy, a photo collection, and a number of technical publications about the water sector. SIWI works to strengthen institutional capacity by targeting five thematic topics: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy food nexus, and water economics.
Information about USAID projects and funding commitments around the world is now literally available at your fingertips. USAID developed the Portfolio Map application to increase transparency about the work that the Agency does in different sectors around the world. Available for free download on iPhones and iPads, the application presents users with a map of the world and allows them to click on a country to get additional details about USAID’s activities and investments. In addition, users of the application can search for projects by sector, initiative, and date.
Margins to Mainstream: Women and WASH in India
In India, women are saddled with the daily burden of collecting water. This UN-Habitat-supported video describes the approach used by the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh to implement the Gender Mainstreaming Strategy in the WASH Sector under the Water for Asian Cities Program. A rapid gender assessment revealed that the concerns and feedback of women were often ignored in the planning and provision of WASH services. The Indian state subsequently increased the participation of women in the planning, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of WASH services. By implementing the strategy, Madhya Pradesh boosted the role of women in their communities and improved WASH services. “Margins to Mainstream” illustrates the importance of empowering women in increasing the quality and responsiveness of WASH services.
Senegalese farmers are threatened by unpredictable rainfall. USAID’s Yaajeende Conservation Agriculture project worked to improve soil health and strengthen farm resiliency in Senegal through conservation agriculture. Conservation agriculture employs farming techniques that enrich soil, conserve limited water supply, and increase productivity. Benefits of conservation farming include reduced production costs, increased efficiency, stronger plants, yield increases that can total 400 percent, and decreased crop damage from wind, drought, and pests. The project works with communities to distribute abandoned land to vulnerable people, including a number of women. The reclaimed land is used to produce lucrative, low maintenance crops that are in high demand such as micronutrient-rich okra and hibiscus. The video features testimonials from local farmers who have benefited from conservation farming.
Last updated: April 22, 2013